A fine line

Let me give you a little background about some things…when my son was in early grades, probably up until about third grade, he didn’t get ANY electronics during the school week. None from Monday night through Thursday night. He found things to do with his time, he read and played and just ran around like little boys do. Once he got past those first few grades and was doing so good and so advanced I thought as a reward we could lax up on the no electronics rule.

Fast forward to now….

He is homeschooled, he is super smart and does well and goes through his work everyday like its nothing. By lunchtime everyday he is usually done with all academics, chores, exercised and had his shower and breakfast. I have told him then it’s his time. He chooses to play Xbox or DS or any other gaming device he has. I feel like a bad parent because he gets so much video game time now, but then again, the kid’s really smart and reads on a college level and pretty much writes better than I can so I feel torn. It’s hard to find the balance and I know there are all these articles out about video games and violence and blah blah blah, he is the most gentle kind hearted young man and I think he’s doing just fine.

So….I’m going to stop feeling torn and keep on doing what we are doing. It’s worked this far!

How about you, do your children have limits?

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5 thoughts on “A fine line

  1. I’ll admit it, both my kids get too much “down time”. But Emily is a lot like Colby. She has always made honor roll and will be taking AP classes next year, she exercises regularly but she could do better with her chores. Ethan is super smart for his age as well but he is obsessed with the wii. I do feel guilty about it a lot so we’re gonna work on it. The sad thing is that he really doesn’t have anyone his age to play with and we don’t have any neighborhood kids either. I don’t think it makes us bad parents, its just a new era that we live in and if we had had all these gadgets when we were little we would’ve played the heck out of ’em!

  2. Both of my boys got Ipods for Christmas. I started out thinking I would use reading as an incintive and make them “earn” time on their Ipod. Realized quickly that I am not that disciplined to keep up with it. Now, they play when I say they can and if I say its time to put it up, they do. But I realized given a choice, on pretty days, they would rather go outside and play. They still drag their Legos out and play and they still set up office and play. And sometimes they get out their Ipods. Its just a “new” way of playing, that we didn’t have and that doesn’t necessarliy mean it is bad. Saturday night, Brett had a friend over and they stayed in his room playing on their Ipods for hours. They were playing the same game, together. It was just being played electronically. How is that really different than dragging out a board game and playing? Or playing hide and seek? (Yes, I get the activity level difference, but it was 20 degrees outside. We were definitely housebound.) We all communicate differently than we did 10 years ago. Instead of picking up the phone or going to visit someone, we post on facebook or create a blog to say what we feel. Who is to say if it is the right way to communicate? Is it working? It does for me. I get to talk to people that I otherwise would not. I learn things from them, make new friends, renew old friendships and feel better about my life when I see others going thru the same struggles I am. Maybe what I say helps someone and I often get good advice from others. About the “violence”. We grew up playing Pacman and Frogger. Did we really think we were yellow circles in a maze eating dots and running from ghosts? Did we use Frogger as an excuse to play in traffic? 50 years ago, kids played Cowboys and Indians or police and bank robber? Did that fly as an excuse when they murdered somebody or robbed a bank in real life? No. You were simply taught right from wrong and it wasn’t anybody’s fault but your own if you chose to do wrong. We have lost that accountability as a society and I don’t think it was a video games fault.

    • That is an interesting way to look at it and I’ve never really thought about it like that. It’s just a different way they play. He plays with some of his buddies on the Xbox. I used to hate texting but now it’s my preferred way of communication. Thanks for helping me feel less guilty 🙂

  3. Well we do have limits with one of our children Alex, we call him the game geek lol!! he is always wanting to play. But on the other hand Kynzee is a honor roll student gets all her work done and then spends time on her ipod and if its pretty outside she would rather put her ipod down and go play, I think it depends on the child!!

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