I come to you with this blog as a mother, a mother who is lost in what is right and wrong. My duty as a mother, or at least how I see it, is to help nurture the spirit and the mind of a child into adulthood with the hopes that the lessons I have given will create a person who is not only kind but a free thinking person who questions everything and tries to do the right thing at every turn. A person who will not only be independent but in charge of their own life and not settling for anything less.
I have certainly tried that with my kids. When they show an interest in a subject I give them loads of information on it for them to explore or take them to places that might help that interest grow. I try to nourish their curiosity. My children span many age brackets. I have a daughter who is 18, one son who is 10 and another son who is 4. When my daughter was about age 10 she asked for a Sega playstation, I saw no harm in getting her this game for her enjoyment. She had other interest at the time, violin, dancing, taekowndo, and her friends of course. I figured a little mindless gaming couldn't hurt her. At that time her brother was 2 years old and had a huge fascination with this new gadget his sister just got. He was able to pick up a controler and move Sonic here, there, up and down, to and fro without any effort. We were mind boggled. By the time he was age 5 he was mastering games adults would play. My husband saw nothing wrong with him playing these games, that just horrified me on the other hand. I always felt like that wimpy dork cringing at the loud sounds, the adrenaline pumping off the screen at me, and not to mention the blood.
Now we have two young boys who are completly obessed with video games. We have them all, I think. Playstation 3, DS, Wii, and Xbox. Not to mention the computer which also has games on it, like World of Warcraft. These games have become the central interest of my young men. At one time my oldest son had a huge interest in History, Sciences, and Math, he still does and really enjoys all of those things but gaming is the master to his slave. My youngest son is now mimicking his older brothers passion for rapid gunfire and war.
However this is not my issue, although I would rather they play the Wii and enjoy less bloodshed. My issue is the fighting over games. It is never ending, it is a non stop diarrhea of screaming, yelling, hitting, and throwing. The little one takes the big ones things, the big one yells at the little one, the little one then attacks the big one, the big one then strikes back, and then I come in. How can you have every system possible and still fight? How can you be so unappreciative of what you have and unhappy with it? Not only are there wars going on, on the screen before them but they too are in a war of their own. I have created two monsters. Spoiled, violent seeking, monsters.
I feel that, although do not blame, these video games from stealing so much from our kids. Innocence is one,violence does not phase them. They realize that its fake, all made on a computer, so why is it such a big deal "mom". Also they are so stagnate. In the summer it isn't as bad but its still not like when I was a kid. We were out from sun up till sun down. My kids game in the morning, eat breakfast, game some more, eat lunch, go outside for a couple hours, come back in game, eat dinner, game, game, watch TV and then go to bed. I have created monsters. I take totally blame for this craziness.
How do you turn it around though? Thats what we ask ourselves as parents when we have fudged up a little. Reversing is so much harder then just letting it pass and moving on. I will say again, they just cannot see how much they are given when they have everything. We need to change things around here, and I am sure we are not the only home. I think its a sickness in away. As parents we figure its keeping them happy but honestly its to shut them up, for the lack of a better word. Who wants to hear "But mom everyone has video games, this isnt the dark ages woman" after you hear that 21000 times you finally say "For God sake if you stop asking for it you can have what you want".
I want to create some change in my family. I cannot have boys who think that they are owed everything and that fighting over everything, all the time, is not the answer. I told them today that there is a great chance we might do a no game policy for 2 months. Just unplug! Instead of wasting time on there we can volunteer somewhere, we can exercise together, we can talk once and while. Then maybe once they get them back, now and then, they will appreciate the privilege of playing them. I really think they assume its their God given right to game and we need to change that.
Today's world of gamers, bloggers (no offense haha), chatters, emailers, and other tech savvy folks has become the TV of this generation. We are a society of people who must have more. More is better. Who wants to be the guy with 1 TV? I do see a movement out there in the world that is rising above all this techno bumbo jumbo, the greener, easier, cleaner, generation of parents who are forgoing the TV's, the cable, the games, and all things modern. What kind of monsters could they create with such simple living?
Please tell me I am not the only one with these monsters that I speak of. Please tell me there is hope? Let's not raise a generation of children so sucked in by what the box spits out that they loose their true selves. We do not want them to be monsters.