Last year, our daughter wanted a DS Lite. I was against the idea, but S decided it was a learning opportunity. We told her that we would allow her to get one on two conditions:
- She had to earn the money herself. We would provide tasks for her so she could earn the money, but they wouldn’t be easy.
- She needed to realize that being allowed this was a privilege, and if we in any way thought it was eating up too much of her time or taking away from her participation in the family that we’d take it away.
Well, we ended up taking it away about two months or so ago. She was just using it so much, and after we caught her using it instead of doing her chores, that was that.
On Sunday, we allowed Kiddo to use the DS for a few hours while we drove out to Ocean City. (My brother- in- law is in town, and he wanted to see the ocean. Poor guy- it was miserable out there this weekend!) She’d been really good lately, and it’s a three hour drive.
Sunday night, she left this document on our bed.
This is a two page proposal detailing all points possibly pertinent to to the long- term return of her DS.
Some excerpts (reprinted here, with permission):
I am writing to you for permission to keep my DS. Now, I decided to write it instead of my usual way because I am going to explain a few reasons why I wish to keep it…
I will answers these questions in order as you see: Why should I get it back? What will happen if I do? And am I really prepared? Please read the following.
[Why Should I Get The DS Back?]
I have been doing well with my chores. When we came home today, I did them without complaint. I’ve been agreeable, or so I believe…
[What Will Happen After?]
Nothing different. I will continue to do my chores. I will do all my homework and chores before playing with it. I will not put it before family, chores, or school. It will be strictly entertainment, not my life…
[Am I Prepared?]
This is not my call, obviously. Despite the fact that I feel responsible enough, this may not be for you. You’re the jury; I’m the criminal. Your choice. I can only do this: plead my case.
Please consider my points and give me your response tomorrow, the 7th of April 2008.
Thank you for your time,
PS: Also, parents: I understand that having my DS is a privilege, not a right. I understand that if I break the rules this time it will be taken away for even longer. This will ensure my fulfilling duties at school, home, and in personal issues.
Holy hell. S says this is what happens when you emphasize "precision in language" to a child from a very young age: his theory is that this is the natural outcome from two parents who debate for sport and spent her youth working as linguists. I have no idea what to do with this document, other than possibly laminate it for posterity.
Yes, she got it back.