A Mom's Angst Over Video Games

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Video game time doesn't have to be a struggle for parents and kids.

I don't like the way that video games have changed our lives.

Sounds dramatic but it's true.

The boys really wanted a system...they started playing Sonic, Mario and Star Wars at friends houses...so, I wanted to know what this new interest was all about and figured we should become a part of it.

But, now, I just get worried when they play, remembering the days when creating imaginative stories about our stuffed animals, toy trains and rc cars was our favorite form of entertainment. 

My older son likes video games but they are not his end all, be all.  He would almost rather be building a Lego or throwing a football.  His younger brother, on the other hand, is a little bit obsessed with anything that beeps, jumps or explodes.  He would play all the time, if we let him.  So, we made rules: they can only partake on weekends.  This structure will make the regulations clear, right?  And will surely eliminate any struggle and negotiation, yes?  No.  Wrong.  Now, I spend my weekends fielding constant questions and complaints:  "Can I play now?  Can I play longer?  I DON'T WANT TO TURN IT OFF!@#?!!@"  And, every time he sees someone using a tablet or a fancy phone, he is hanging over the owner's shoulder, trying to get in on the action.

Am I going overboard with my concern?  Is some "video game time" not so bad?!  How much is too much?  Are there actual educational benefits, such as improvement in hand-eye coordination?

Well, with all of these questions running through my head, I was interested to watch this video I found on YouTube called "Video Games For Kids: 3 Healthy Ways to Choose & Use Them."  It's part of a new show called IQ Smart Parent.

It provides us moms and dads with a different way of thinking about screen time.  Some games can help kids create and problem solve.  Also, playing with our children can become a great opportunity for bonding.

I need to work on that one.  Video games just don't really appeal to me...I find them incredibly frustrating and would rather be reading a book.  So, perhaps my angst stems from my own disinterest in this modern form of entertainment.

What do you think?

Do you have constant battles with your kids about screen time?

Do you think there are educational benefits associated with video games?



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