C.M. asks from Tampa, FL on August 25, 2008
Video Games - Tampa,FL
Well, here I am again, trying to figure out what is best for my kids. At the beginning of this month, we got the Wii video game system in our home. Mostly, I got it for my husband as a fun release after a stressful day at work. As opposed to it as I was, since I know how addictive it can be, I know he really wanted it for him and even the boys. It has turned into an obsession for the 4 and 5 year old boys. I only allow them 1 hour a day and sometimes when Bryan gets home from work, I'll let them play a bit before going to bed. I guess it's better than t.v. since it's interactive and "kind of" problem solving. My problem is this: before their little eyes are even open they are asking for the game. "Mom, can we play the video game?" My GOSH it's still dark outside!!! But, if you want to use your hour then it's your choice. Am I alone in this? Do you have video games that your kids seem obsessed with? Am I doing anything wrong? Please refrain from the "video games will turn your kids brains into mush" I already know. :) Maybe you are in the same situation and can relate to this. My husband thinks it's fine and that it's a nice reward for having a perfect week in school and that it's a great thing to take away if they have done something wrong. What do you think about all this? By the way, their favorite is the Lego Star Wars and the Wii sports too.
R.W. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
My boys also have the Wii. They love it and I hate it. I enjoy playing it, but when the boys get on it, it turns into the biggest battle ever. I have two 6 year olds and an eight year old. They complain, fight over who's first or which game to agree on, etc. I challege them to be fair and compromise. As difficult as it is, I try not to look at it as just a game, but a way to work out issues that they need to work out. One needs to pick a game and the other goes first. The Wii is just the vehicle they use for the lessons that they need to learn. (If friends are over or whatever.) I can take it for a while, but if they can't get along, it goes away. It is amazing how well they play some of the games that I can't even figure out. Good luck, R.
K.H. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
I have to say, I'm more like the husband in our house, lol, not to say that my husband is not manly, he's the manliest man I know, but I have been dying to have the Wii, we just don't have the funds for one yet. I was always against my kids playing video games because I wanted them to go outside, get some exercise, and have fun. But this all changed when the Wii came out, I have three kids, 8,5, and 3, and my two boys have played when their uncle brings his over, and I couldn't be happier with the amount of exercise they seem to get when they play it. They usually play the carnival games, which quite a few of them have a lot of movement involved, especially the strong man competition, which has put all of us out of breath, lol. But I like the time limit that you put in place, that's a great idea, and to let them have a little extra with their dad is perfect, it lets them have that time having fun and bonding with him. As for the obsession, well that's going to happen with any kids, especially when something is still quite new. Don't worry about it, after a while it will lose it's luster, and the kids won't even remember it's there, but for now, they are going to sleep, eat, and live thinking about it, not a biggie, it's just a lot of fun and that's all they can think about is how much fun they've been having. Take care.
E.G. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
I know what you mean about video game obsession. We just have on-line games and we had it. Now he's into downloading music. It seems like you have the right idea. Maybe add having certain chores that have to be done before they can have their hour? Good luck. I have to admit that I lose this one more often than I win it!
R.W. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
I love video games myself. I play at least a half hour every day either with the PS2 or online. If you get the right games they can be very good for improving eye hand cordination, learning skills, etc. They can be very educational if you pick the right ones. I agree that an hour is more than enough for little ones that age to play. I would find video games where they are learning numbers, colors, reading, etc. Also I would limit it to a half hour at one time. As long as they are getting plenty of exercise I don't personally see a problem with playing video games.
S.E. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
I think most kids are 'obsessed' with video games in that they love to play them. I believe the key is balance and it sounds like you have it. My kids, too, are only allowed 1 hour of video games (sometimes more on the weekend) but they have to have their homework and chores done before they even ask. And I also suggest to them maybe to play outside for a while or lets play a game of cards or boardgame instead if I have time... My friend makes her son, who hates to read, read for the amount of Wii time he earns. ie: if he reads 30 minutes, he gets 30 minutes of Wii time. Not only does this motivate her son to read when he otherwise wouldn't, it also gets part of his homework done at the same time without an argument - a win on both ends. More than the amount of time they play, I believe is the kind of games they play. My son also has the lego starwars and some baseball games but i won't buy anything that is not rated 'E' for everyone. Although my son's friends have games that are T, I ask him not to play them and he respects my wishes. The new technology in gaming is great - ie: interactive Wii but the graphics in some games - and the language (on all video gaming systems)- YIKES - definately NOT great. Keep up what you're doing. Sounds like you're on the right track and yes, there are tons of other kids out there just like yours so don't worry.
A.M. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
You are on the right track with the time limits. My guys love that Starwars game too. With my kids , they do have to have their chores done first. As little as your guys are, they can do some simple chores . Put their dirty clothes in the hamper, "make beds" (at least pull up the blanket), bathroom trash, take care of meal dishes, and the ever popular pick up the toys. If their morning chores aren't done then no games. I even tell them "No you played yesterday ....go find a book/play outside. " I feel that video games have a place. They are fun to play as a family and the wii system especially is awesome for many reasons. My two are, the level you have to be physically interactive and the ease of use by even the littlest. But limits must be set and enforced. NO caving into the whining and wheedling for the game. Set the rules and stick to them and games can be an enriching family activity and not a mindless brain mushing one. Ohh and just take care of the games you keep in your home. Obviously don't want them playing any of the inappropriate ones. Another plus for nintendo wii ...it has the most family friendly titles.
Just my $.02
S.V. answers from Tampa on August 26, 2008
hey C. - Good morning, It is S.! Small world.
We have great family times with the Wii - especially Wii Sports and the Tiger Woods golf. Jack, the 3year old can whip everyone at Bowling! As I see it, it is interactive, gets the family doing stuff together, and yes, it allows you to get stuff done sometimes. And it is better than them watching TV and asking can I have that?
Have you ever played it? The tennis will give you a workout!