Life

Mommy's Grounded

Let’s stop making a fuss about fidget spinners and focus on the benefits instead

By Bianca Bujan

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

As I drove a boisterous carload of seven-year-old boys to soccer practice, I asked how many of them had fidget spinners, and not surprisingly, all but one raised their hands.

Over the past few months, I’ve watched as the three-pronged fidget fad has spread swiftly across the peers of my children, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before my kids would be begging me for one of their own.

Initially, I was hesitant to buy into the latest toy craze. I had read stories of children choking, and teachers begrudgingly banning the handheld finger flickers from their classrooms.

I had fallen victim to the repeated requests for Rainbow Looms and Pokemon cards in the past, and had sworn that I would be more prudent with future purchases.

But I was also intrigued by the latest “it” item and wanted to see for myself what the fuss was about.

In the end, I likened the fidget spinner to a modern-day yo-yo and doled out 10 bucks a pop to treat my kids to the trending toy - but not without a list of restrictions.

I agree with the teachers who have banned fidget spinners from the classroom, and I don’t think children should be allowed to bring anything to class besides school supplies and listening ears.

But I also think that it’s important to make a clear distinction between tools and toys - both for our children and for ourselves.

For some, fidget spinners can be a useful tool to combat anxiety, ADHD and autism in children. But for most, fidget spinners are nothing more than toys, and should be treated as such in schools and at home.

We need to set limits, keep the twiddlers out of the classroom and monitor use - just as we would with other toys. If the spinners become an unwanted distraction, they should be taken away.

It’s up to us as adults to set boundaries and educate our children on when it is and isn’t appropriate to finger fidget.

My two oldest children have had their fidget spinners for a couple of weeks now, and so far, I’ve found them to be more beneficial than bothersome. Screen time requests have been greatly reduced. My two older kids have found a common interest which has prompted friendly competitions instead of raucous rivalries, and I’ve even enjoyed a few stolen moments of fidget fun to clear my mind.

I think we should stop fussing about the latest toy trend, and embrace the benefits instead - because these tends aren’t going away anytime soon.

I only wish I had been the one to create the multi-million dollar toy trend that tops the list of every tot today.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, freelance writer, and marketing consultant. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @bitsofbee and at www.bitsofbee.com. Comments: bitsofbee@yahoo.ca.