Some Assembly Required— The Lie

When giving gifts to your offspring, it is best to watch out for these three words: Some Assembly Required.

This is the biggest scam in all of capitalism.

Toy manufacturers are notorious for conning you into doing the labor of assembling their creation for them. More often than not, you do it too! Why? Because you think it’s necessary for your offspring’s full enjoyment of said purchase.

Giving presents to children isn’t as easy as it once was. Modern youngsters are no longer enthralled by simple toys. No more sticks with hoops, corn husk dolls, or moderately sized rocks.  No, everything these pint sized terrors want comes in a million microscopic plastic pieces and has to be put together with the aid of advanced engineering degrees. 

This, my dear fellow parental figures, is where you are going about all of this all wrong. Don’t buy into the manufacturer’s blackmailing techniques! Don’t let them suck away inordinate amounts of your life without even minimum wage payment. Don’t spend your holidays, birthdays, funerals, and weekends putting together the equivalency of miniature life-sized 3-D plastic puzzles. Don’t let the toy companies bamboozle you with their instructions (they are not, in fact, instructions. Really they are ancient Egyptian gossip magazines about pop stars of the time.

You know your spawn will only spend 5 minutes with the newly assembled lump of plastic. It’s just not worth the time you put into it.

So, how do you find a way out of this particular time suck? Simple.

Let the kids assemble their own toys. After all, the laws of gift giving stipulate that responsibility for said gift is transferred as soon as they rip into that wrapping paper. If they want it, then they should be the ones to struggle to put it together.

Incorporating this driving principal in your gift giving will do a number of things.


1.       It’ll save you a lot of money. Your offspring will think twice before asking you for the triple story swing set if you tell them that they will have to build it on their own.

2.       Your offspring will develop a new and impressive set of skills including translating assembly instructions into plain language, the science of engineering ergonomic plastic kitchens, and familiarity with cheaply manufactured tools that would supposedly work to put all of the random bits in the boxes together.

3.       You will get a lot more time back to do things that you want to do. Like finally putting together that book case from Ikea.

4.       You may be able to successfully sue the toy companies for violations of child labor laws.

It’s time to get your spawn a decent set of tools and sit back and relax. I’ve solved the some assembly required problem. You are welcome.


***Disclaimer***Azra has been around children for centuries. While not having any of his own, part of being an exiled angel means blending in on earth. As he traveled the earth, he picked up on a lot of parenting practices across the globe. This blog is meant to share his parenting wisdom with a new generation. And to win a bet.

*Note: any advice given is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally. Please do not exercise it upon any living being, child or otherwise.*