II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fun and Games?????

I was raised in a family who, trying to live a strict Christian life, didn't even own a TV for most of my childhood years. We learned to value family time and game night and Bible reading together. Things I cherish now as an adult (although surprisingly I never despised them as a child either).
Now that I am grown with children of my own, I am having to make decisions about how they should be raised. What kinds of things they are going to be exposed to and possibly become addicted to. And so--the subject of "gaming" has come up. The only kind of game system I ever played was an Atari (at my friends house) and then as a young teenager, my brother and his family who came to live with us for a few months, brought their original (Super Mario Bro's/Duck Hunt) Nintendo. I had a great time playing that for those months but that was the end of it. Never again in all my years have I had the opportunity or desire to play any kind of video games again.
Well...to be completely correct and honest, a few years back we did borrow the Nintendo from my brother (they still had it after ALL these years!!) because we thought it would be fun to try out the old games again (Matt used to love Mike Tyson's Punch Out). We played it for a couple of days...but other than that, it's just been sitting in our spare bedroom.
Okay..so that brings us up to current...
Last night while I was busy, Matt and the kids got it out and started playing it. Brooklyn likes it but I think she could take it or leave it. Grant on the other hand...well, I just see this as a pivotal time. I'm either going to allow him to keep playing it and become "addicted" or I could start right now at this very fresh beginning and put limits on his playing time.
At the moment, its very convenient for him to be playing it because I am working (well, really, I was until I started blogging! ha ha) and he's having so much fun...hollering out to me every few minutes that he "got big" or "got killed" or whatever.
So, I'm wondering...what do you guys think about this? I know...everything within reason and in BALANCE is usually okay...but I wonder, how many of your kids are addicted to these machines? If I start letting my 4 year old play Nintendo...does that mean that by Christmas he'll be asking for a Wii or playstation or something?
Maybe this is something I don't even want to get started. Because honestly, I think playing video games (other than on occasion for a short period of time) is just a waste of brain cells and time. Yes, you can learn something from it...eye hand coordination or whatever...but you can also learn that from REAL things like riding your bike and playing outside and reading a book and stringing beads onto a necklace and so forth. I've always had a prejudice towards guys who sit and play video games for hours on a daily basis. To me, anything that requires you to sit for hours on your butt and do nothing productive (and doesn't pay) is just LAZY and USELESS.
So...what are your thoughts on this subject?


tori said...

you're right there is balance with everything. as it goes is our household, we have a WII and 1) when we play it we play it as a family or 2) alex and elijah play together and it is never more than 30 min to an hour and then off it goes. it is fun & the boys have a blast playing. i say do what is best for your family. elijah has a v-smile for the tv and a hand held one. the hand held one has come in so handy from time to time just when we have long car rides or something. we also have a ps2 that we've had since before mark and i got married and we use it as our dvd player as well as play games too. so i don't really have a suggestion other than yes they can be addictive, but so can many other things. we have a great balance of outside time, reading, game time, tv time etc. just do what fits your family....

Tammy said...

Chris won't allow the kids to have video games - at least not now. He thinks they should be outside playing.

But we recently played the Wii at our friends' house, and he thought that would be the best option if ever we were to get them something.

Oh yeah - Mason thinks we are the worst parents ever, but he'll get over it. Like you, I only had Atari and don't even remember playing it THAT much.

Amy said...

I am struggling with how I'm going to deal with this too. It's WAY too soon to be stressing about it but it definitely has crossed my mind. I think I'm with Tori...the time limit is the way to go. That way Grant can have it to look forward to as a reward and not see it as an everyday, all the time thing. And I know ya'll are outside a lot and doing fun family things, so that's great! Gotta keep a good balance between the outside time and the couch time. I can't wait until E is big enough to play ball and frisbee and ride bikes! I REALLY miss my bike-riding!