#Momlife Advice

Do As I Say, Not as I Do

February 12, 2018
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Ok. I’m all about trusting your Motherlucker gut. I absolutely believe the best way to mother is the way that feels best to you. That aside? If your gut says “I’m ok with my kids playing video games” please ignore your gut and listen to me.

I was anti-video game. I never played them. Mostly because I’m as old as dirt. I read books. I played outside. I remember TV before remote controls and as the youngest of three it was my job to get up and change the channel. They simply weren’t part of the era in which I grew up. Think of me as the elder stateswoman here at Motherlucker…

My sons are now nearly 13 and 14. One shaves. They take showers with Axe shower gel. I’m a a taxpaying resident of testosterone town.

I was cagey about video games. I forbade them for a long tI’me. Then I caved. They were allowed to play but only certain games and only on weekends. Then it became only Thursday through Saturday. Then and then and then… By the next “then?” They were boys who played video games. I was like a lobster who willingly climbed into in a pot of cold water. I didn’t notice the subtle degrees in which I was giving in until I was in a pot of boiling “I suck at motherhood.”

Why do I dislike video games? They are time suckers. They are addictive. They are violent. For a time I used video games as a reward for good grades in school. I have two sons with straight A’s so it is incredibley hard to raise the bar. There’s nothing higher than straight A’s.

What do I wish? I wish I’d said ABSOLUTELY NOT for a longer period of time. I wish I had set absolute limits from the very beginning.

I will never tell a parent “Do things the way I tell you to.” But where video games are concerned? Please really think about it. Discuss it with your partner. Get on the same page and set the standard that works for you and your family. But please let this be a conscious decision because the playing of video games is one of the most mindless activities a child can do.

I messed this up. And yes. I can dial it back. But I can never go back to when they were tiny and redo their relationships to screens. If I did? I’d take notice that Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids have screens. I’d heed Tim Cook’s recent remarks saying boundaries are important when children use technology. Screens seem an inevitability in our kids lives. The introduction to them and later to video games may be inevitable too. But to the Motherlucker community? To parents of little ones? Please don’t be the hapless lobster I allowed myself to be. Read the studies about the effects of screen time and video games. Talk to your pediatrician. Talk to your friends. Gather all the knowledge you can so you make the screen time and video gaming choice fully armed. Yes. Pun intended.

*Lobsters are likely smarter than I am… So, no offense intended with the boiling water analogy.

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