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Two reasons, both invalid but sympathizable:

1) Everyone else is buying DS's for their kids. I almost feel like I'm judging people to not get one for our kids.

2) Parenting in America is playing defense, reacting to kids boredom, whining, and manipulating. Defense only lasts so long before surrender.

Wow, I must be a terrible parent, because I can't sympathize with either of those.

My son's been playing the same PS2 for years. If he's bored, I tell him to read a book or go run around outside or he can help me with something. If he doesn't want that, well I can find him some chores to keep him busy. If he whines, I tell him I don't want to hear it: go do it somewhere else. Attempting to be manipulative e.g., playing one parent against the other generally gets whatever he wanted taken away for a while.

He (almost 10 years old) absolutely loves to read and we happily feed that habit. Video games/cartoons are a privilege rationed out carefully and taken away when behavior problems arise.

I worry a lot more that I don't have time to take my son fishing than whether or not he's got the same toys his friends do.

I learned at a young age to never ever tell my parents I was bored. My children have learned the same lesson.

We also limit our kids to one hour of video games a week, only to be used on Saturday or Sunday. After homework and chores are finished.

They all love to read and the local librarian knows them all by name.

I have always liked my parent's approach to "I'm bored". I wasn't afraid to say I was bored; I just knew that they'd tell me "Being bored is a choice. Find something to do." and refuse to help me.

As a result, I have never been bored for more than about 5 minutes at a time for nearly a decade. (well, besides classes. But even then I don't think of myself as bored)

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