Pulling the Plug on Video Games
Have you ever felt like something you were allowing your child to do was not quite right?
Have you ever felt like something your child was doing or something you were allowing your child to do was not quite right? When my kids began to badger me about always wanting to play on their video game system, I started asking myself, "Is this okay? How much is too much" and after some years passed I was asking deeper questions such as "Why is this all they want to do? Why don't they want to do the things I did as a kid: ride bikes, shoot hoops in the driveway, go exploring? Why do the games have such a stronghold on their lives?"
The nagging feeling got the best of me, and I pulled the plug literally on the games. As a parent of three children then ages 11, 8 and 6, I affirm that this has been without a doubt one of the most important and positive decisions I have ever made as a parent. It has been hard at times and they have complained about it from time to time, but the positive payoff of sticking to the decision has been life changing for both my kids and for me in ways that I never could have guessed.
Here's a snapshot of life when the kids were gaming: child begs to play the games, I reluctantly say yes, child happy with the game initially, but happiness turns to fixation and stress. I worry that something's not right with this picture and tell child to turn it off and do something else, child bargains for more time on the game, I get anxious and wish the game was never invented. Child finally turns it off and complains that "there's nothing to do," which as a working mom with so many things to do, I feel my temper flare. Can you relate?
Now fast forward to today. We have been game-free for almost a year. My children play basketball in the driveway, ride scooters, bikes, skateboards, play with our dog, read, play games, started collecting baseball cards and just this week came up with the idea on their own to plant a garden in the backyard. They rediscovered fun things to do and they are learning as they play. They are exploring, inventing, building, using their muscles, their hands, their imaginations. They are getting fresh air and taking in nature.
If you can relate to wanting this for your children, then be encouraged becase help is here! Moms Managing Media is a support group of moms (and a few dads) learning why pulling the plug on video games is so critical for healthy child development and more importantly, Moms Managing Media is showing parents like me HOW to do it. If you are interested in learning more, please go to www.momsmanagingmedia.com. Our next meeting is April 23, and it is open to the public. I hope to see you there.