Thursday, February 26, 2009

Webkinz World Part I

The world of webkinz hit our home 1 year ago. We had heard all about these furry little guys with a website link from friends and family. So, in the summer, I snatched up a webkinz for each...the elephant for Esther, the bunny for Annika, the horse for Mary Erin and saved them for Christmas. Eva didn't get a webkinz, we tried to pass it off as one, but she's a smart kid.

So, during our winter break, on the computer we went...buying up clothes, furniture, bedroom designs, swimming pools, all with the free 'kinzcash' you get as your starter bank account. It didn't take long for the cash to be depleted. The only way to get more cash is to do something educational (answer school-related quiz questions) OR get a job. We tried the jobs. They were hard. With one eye on the door to make sure Ross didn't see, I began doing the girls' jobs for them. It's all timed. Sometimes I sort numbers for the Kinz Post Office to get the correct totals. Sometimes I toss newspapers to the green doors instead of the red doors. Sometimes I determine if the sick pets need an ice pack, band aid, or medicine based on the locale of the boo-boo. You know what's coming. How could I hide it forever? "Sara, what in the world are you doing?" Well, you see, the jobs are, hard. "Hard? Isn't it a kids' website?" Yes. It's sort of like a um, gift to them. I mean, the girls do their household chores, practice piano faithfully, get their homework done, but I do their webkinz jobs. I went on...they need webkinz cash, it's a challenge to me, I only do it once in awhile. In the end, he tolerated my 'enabling mentality' until, that is, I began waiting for the magic 8 hour webkinz clock to wind down until I could do another one. I had to back off. He was onto me. I backed down to only an occasional job fill in for them, just enough to let the kids keep a steady flow of cash in their webkinz bank accounts. Maybe I could use this as an illustration to teach about a welfare mentality. Some people work, then give their money to the people who don't. Then the people who don't work, spend it and expect more. I even had one friend tell me to cut it out, that I was making her look bad...her kids complained, "Hey mom, why can't you do our jobs like Mrs. Campbell does..." (My friend is a woman of virtue, that's why.) But to be honest, they are fun. And once you work up to the highest level, they are a challenge even for an adult with a college education. And I do have limits. I will most certainly NOT do the job where you have about 5 little baby webkinz all wanting, water, a stuffed bear. They turn their little lips down and you have to figure out what they want. Then you click and drag the item that makes them happy. If you don't get it to them quick enough, they begin to sob. Then you start getting "x's". Three strikes and you are out. That's where I draw the line. I won't do that job, for you see, that's no game. That's called being a mother, a game I play for about 14 hours each day.


SevenSwansaswimming said...

You are so funny! My big girls were in to the webkinz frenzy about a year ago, but they have kind of died out around here. I never played the games, but they did for hours!

Melanie Keffer said...

I laughed and just sat here and thought, "I must be missing something somewhere." From my viewpoint as an "old" woman now, I see absolutely nothing wrong with what you did. Rolling the clock back and thinking about what I would have done when my girls were that age, I probably would have made them work for it.

Then again, I was always like you. They do their "real" work and that is what is important, so why not help them out with a TOY . . . emphasis on the word, TOY. :)

My rule of thumb in this house was there were always jobs the kids had that were their responsibility, meant to teach them responsibility and the whole nine yards. I NEVER paid them, rewarded them or gave them any compensation for doing the jobs that were considered their responsibilities. Of course, Karoline used to say that "everything" fell into that category. HA.

Outside of that, I must confess that I spoiled my children also. I praised them for their good work, I melted at their big smiles and wonderful kisses and the whole nine yards. I loved them with everything in me as a mother.

What I am getting at is I think we mothers have to have an area where we feel it is safe to spoil. We have so much to teach our children and it is definitely love that makes us stick to our guns when it comes to those lessons, but we have to have a place where we feel like we can spoil them just a little and not ruin them for life. :)

So, more power to you Sara! Enjoy playing Webkinz with your girls!


P. S. What I am facing now is boys who want to earn money but aren't quite old enough to be employed. I still have the responsibility rule so I have to search and search for things outside what is considered their responsibilities that they can do and be paid for. An important lesson.

Hey . . . When our kids are grown, we need to write a book, don't we? :)

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