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    Should the Webkinz be kept alive?

    By lizmcg | July 18, 2008

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    Yesterday, my oldest got into big trouble. She did something incredibly stupid, something she admits was just plain dumb. Part of her punishment is to go for a month without computer privileges. Even she agrees this is appropriate.

    There’s a problem, though. After the discussion, held in measured tones by her father and me because we were so genuinely angry about it, she quietly pointed out with tears in her eyes that this is a “death sentence for her Webkinz.” Yes, she is nearly a fourth-grader, so you can imagine the angst.

    A split second before going ballistic at this comment, I realized that E~’s Webkinz mean everything to her. They take a second place only to Miley Cyrus, and if you know little girls this means they are HUGE.

    In case you don’t know, Webkinz are little stuffed animals. Although they are cute, cuteness is not the reason to buy Webkinz. They each come with a little code, which kids log in, and then they can go to “webkinz com” as my kids call it.

    Once within “webkinz com”, each animal has his or her own room with furniture, decorations, food, activities – it’s like a resort. You can send messages and gifts to your friends, earn “kinzcash”, and play games.

    If you’re almost nine-years-old, Webkinz is a huge status symbol. When meeting new kids, you compare how many Webkinz everyone has and the number of rooms.

    When softball began this spring, after the first practice E~ had no idea what her coaches’ names were but she could tell me without blinking how many Webkinz every girl had. It’s that important.

    So after a month of no care, apparently the Webkinz will be seriously neglected and possibly dead. This is probably an exaggeration, but they would suffer in their own virtual little ways.

    To add to the drama, E~’s Webkinz are named for family members. This means that her cousins, aunt and uncle among others will be the ones silently enduring this famine. How will I explain to my brother, his wife and children that their namesakes died as a result of neglect?

    I’ve tried to work out what the best option might be. Yes, I do think she needs to serve out her punishment. But is a punishment served at the expense of the innocent a worthwhile lesson? Should someone (me, her sister) be allowed access to provide minimal care?

    What would you do? Leave me a comment, and I’ll let you know the decision in the next couple of days… I’ve told her I’d think about what to do about this Webkinz death sentence.

    Topics: parenting |

    One Response to “Should the Webkinz be kept alive?”

    1. Says:
      July 21st, 2008 at 9:06 pm

      LOL–what a funny problem. If it were me, I think that I would get on and do just enough to make sure they didn’t die, but I would let them lose all of the status stuff you were talking about. It sounds like a lesson that would really make an impact.