Silly Bandz and other Fads
January 29, 2011 by Lisa Freeman
I’m in and out of my car all day long as I go from one appointment to the next. So I listen to the radio a lot. I heard an interesting piece yesterday.
The reporter was discussing the social significance of fads such as silly bandz. How often have our kids come home from school insisting that they need to buy something because ‘everyone has it.’ I’m not advocating that they get everything they ask for but let’s think about it for a minute in terms of the social learning that might occur.
Let’s use silly bandz as an example. How many of them does one person need? That’s what we think in the store as our kids grab yet another bag. What do they do with these little pieces of rubber? They wear them to school where they socialize with their classmates (being part of the group) and talk about them (doing what the group is doing, doing what’s expected). They think about which friend has the one they want and if that person might be willing to trade (perspective taking). They think about and figure out which bracelet they are willing to part with in a trade (planning and organization). What if their friend doesn’t want to trade, what will they do (problem solving, strategizing)? How will they feel if the friend says no (what’s the size of the problem, emotions, body language and facial expression)?
What I’m saying is that maybe sometimes we need to rethink the social implications of ‘just because everyone has it, doesn’t mean you need it’ if having it will foster the social learning concepts and interaction that we are striving for.