The Washington Post

Should a 9-year-old have a Nintendo DS?

From elsewhere in The Post: A girl wants to keep up with her friends, and their interest in iCarly and Hannah Montana, by getting a Nintendo DS for her ninth birthday. Her father is adamantly against it. But one parent thinks the gift could be a good idea, and asks columnist Marguerite Kelly for her advice:

I do think that my daughter is old enough to play the same games that her friends enjoy — and I know that they do enjoy them. I’m the Girl Scout troop leader, and I hear their chatter every week.

I also think that some of the Nintendo games — such as the puzzle-based ones — would be appropriate for my daughter and that they would challenge her mind too.

Kelly advises this family to view the gaming console as a tool to overcome a social hurdle. If both parents agree to give it as a gift, they “should learn to play Nintendo games with your daughter, just as you play Parcheesi or work on a puzzle with her. These moments might seem insignificant to you, but they matter to her now — and they always will,” Kelly says.

Read the rest of her advice, and tell us how you guide your children when they want to fit in with their friends.

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