I Want That!

Registries are commonplace for showers and weddings. But now ‘tweens want in, and some think that's asking for trouble

Last spring, when Amy* opened an envelope to reveal a birthday invitation, she smiled. That is, until she read the bottom of the invite, where she was shocked to see a line informing the south Charlotte mom where the guest of honor was registered. The guest of honor? A seven-year-old. The concept of prepicked presents for the pint-size set gave Amy an uneasy feeling. And she's not alone.

What a Kid Wants

Here's a peek at what the preteen set is adding to their registries, er, wish lists

Barbie's Three-story Dream House $119.99
Our real-life real estate market might be struggling, but Barbie's livin' large in a three-story pad complete with a flat-screen TV and stainless steel appliances.

Star Wars Millennium Falcon $159.99
Hello wee one Star Wars fans: this high-tech replica of the infamous rebel ship has working lights, missile projection capability, light saber sound effects, and voices.

Spy Vision Goggles $16.99
Jr. James Bonds can see up to twenty-five feet in front of them in the dark while wearing these super spy goggles.

Children's gift registries are a growing trend among Charlotte kiddies, but the verdict on them is decidedly split. Julia, a former Charlotte resident who lives in California but returns often to attend birthday parties for her friends' wee ones, is firmly in favor. "You hate to get kids things that they already have or something that they won't like or ever use," says the mother of two.

Kids can click 'n' pick from hundreds of toys on Amazon.com and ToysRUs.com, or register in person at Stonecrest's Learning Express, where kids toss all of their desired gifts into a bucket, which then gets labeled with their name and birthday. The store then provides cards to include with the party invitation letting guests know that they can come "shop" out of the birthday boy or girl's bucket. Popular local kid boutiques dilly dally, Magic Windows, and nesting also offer in-store registries.

But not all parents feel warm and fuzzy about the registries. Amy, a Charlotte mother, was primarily bothered by the moral implications of a child registry. "The reason for registries is to let people know what you need," she says. "Let's face it, when you're turning seven, you don't need the newest My Little Pony play set. I think it sends the message to the birthday kid that they should expect certain things. It also tells the giver that they only want your gift if it suits them."

Lorelai Lindow, a licensed professional counselor in south Charlotte, is also wary of kiddie registries. "It removes the thoughtfulness on the part of the giver," says Lindow. "It also creates an expectation of a certain financial contribution.

"I see nothing wrong with the tradition of a child writing a wish list with the understanding that it is exactly that—a wish list," says Lindow.

"Otherwise, I think that children benefit by learning the art of giving and receiving gifts graciously and with consideration of their peers' interests."

*Last names have been removed to protect the innocent mothers from the wrath of other moms who may not share their kiddie registry opinions.

Categories: Buzz > Reality Check