Yes, it is true, I let my children play video games for several hours at a time. WHEN ALL OF THEIR OBLIGATIONS ARE COMPLETED.
Send the SWAT team out!
I personally do not believe in blocking out every minute of my children’s day with activities. Mostly because there is two of them, and one of me, and since I work it is hard enough to get them where they’re supposed to be with the one activity.
My rules are pretty easy: do well in school, have one activity, and do your chores… you can pretty much do whatever you want with your time.
Simple, I think.
And for the most part, its check, check and check.
I have never felt guilty about this parenting style either. There are time limits in place; no video games after dinner (during school breaks), no video games before school; no video games during the school week. We have even taken it a step further and had it so the Wifi shuts off to their devices as a certain time at night.
What happens when my children are forced to disconnect is they spend quality time with one another. But I do not think they need to spend every waking minute together.
I believe the real learning; the creativity in life, comes when you are “bored”. And boredom does not exist anymore. We live in a world where we are CONSTANTLY connected. The internet is ALWAYS ON. So when you have nothing to do while waiting in the grocery store line you can just take out your phone and browse Facebook (and see that nothing has changed since 15-minutes ago when you checked it).
The topic came up at work the other day. I was talking to a coworker who was saying if he let it, his son would sit in front of his video games for hours. And I agreed. Then we continued on how we have similar rules – do well in school, have an activity and you can play video games.
Then the Super Mom flew into the conversation. She said how her son (who is younger than our sons) just started playing a video game and she gives him 25-minutes. Super Mom went on to say how she told him she does not care who is alive or dead or where in the game he is at 25 minutes, but 25 minutes is it.
…..it takes 25 minutes just for the console to book up.
I have never really knocked anyone else’s parenting style (unless I directly have to deal with someone’s children then yes, yes I do) but really 25 minutes… But hey, do you momma…
I think of it this way if you could spend your time doing whatever you wanted to do when all the things were done, what would you do?
What do you do as an adult when all of your boring adult stuff is done?
What did you do as a kid when you were done with your homework and other obligations?
The boring work stuff had to be done first, before the fun stuff. But if you limit the fun stuff so much, is it even fun or relaxing?
I think the balance of video games and responsibilities is a real-life lesson. Balance is the hardest thing to learn but if I can teach my kids about it now, I hope it will be easier for them when it is just them out in the world.
If you’re a parent, do you have any rules that go against the “norm” of parenting? What are they? Do you ever feel guilty about your rules in comparison to other parents?