This piece of writing is courtesy of Amy, who is a friend of Amy, one of MWOB's pioneers and one of my oldest and dearest friends. I've hung out with this new Amy a few times and it's always been a blast chatting about all things mama-related. Amy (my friend) gave her friend, Amy, (are you confused yet?) a little nudge and encouraged her to write about this topic which has been on her mind. And I have a feeling quite a few of you will be able to weigh in on this topic.
So here she is. Amy. Making her premiere appearance in the blogospshere.
Do you remember your first post? Okay then.
Show her some love people.
Written by Amy, a mom without a blog
I am sad to admit that I have officially crossed over to the dark side.
My children, a 5 year-old girl and a 7 year-old boy, were the first in our family to cross over. It happened to them about 5 months ago when we moved into our new house. I was a proud Mama who would often brag to her friends that my kids watched limited amounts of T.V. And when they did watch T.V. the shows that they would watch were highly educational (i.e.-Dinosaur Train, Jungle Junction and Word World). Although Santa had brought them Leapsters a couple of years ago these also seemed to be educational helping them with their Math, Reading, and Writing.
When we moved my kids became instant friends with our neighbors who are all boys but the same age and began spending hours playing with them. At first I was thrilled, they were out in our cul-de-sac playing baseball, riding bikes, playing tennis and playing hide and seek. Activities I had done frequently when I was a child. It was my dream come true, a new house in a safe and protected neighborhood with a cul-de-sac and kids their age to play with.
Then it happened.
My kids began playing inside at the neighbor’s house. They would be there for hours and come home with their faces flushed and sweat pouring down their little rosy cheeks. I missed hearing them playing outside and was wondering what in the heck they were doing there. The first thing they would say when they got home from school was, “Can I go play at the neighbor’s house”? I felt my control as a Mama and quality time with my kids slipping away. I thought that kids were supposed to be into their friends and peer groups in their teens not when they were 5 and 7 years old.
I finally figured out what was going on. They had been introduced to Wii!!!
I have to tell you that when I first found out that they were playing Wii without my permission I was very upset. I had shielded my kids from this stuff for 7 years and now in a matter of minutes they were exposed to a whole new world. A world that I knew very little about and was hoping to avoid for much longer.
Let me tell you a little about myself, I am an almost 40 year old, Child Psychologist that grew up with limited video games such as Pong and Asteroids. I have always held the belief that kids should be outside playing and getting fresh air or inside playing board games, building Legos or doing imaginary play with stuffed animals.
To take it a step further not only were my kids playing Star Wars Lego Wii (rated for 10-year- olds) but they were completely unsupervised in a room away from any adults. My daughter began telling me that the boys were picking on her and that often times the kids would argue over the game. No adults were around to intervene and when the kids would tell the adult they would get reprimanded. This was not acceptable!!! Something had to be done.
I had no choice but to cross over to the dark side too.
On Friday, January 22, 2010 I bought a Wii.
I swore I would never have one of those in my house. We were like dinosaurs. The last ones on the block to get one. I had to bring some control back to my house and I felt like the only way to do it was to allow my kids to play a Wii of their own, in my house, in my family room where I could set limits on how much they were playing and be there in case of foul play.
(Don’t get my wrong I did not just go out and buy my kids a $300 toy for no reason. They get allowance and each chipped in $60 of their own money and I covered the rest.)
But in all honestly, I went to bed last night feeling almost sick to my stomach hoping that I had made the right decision. Instead of sleeping I was thinking about Wii and my kids. Were they going to turn into video addicts, get overly aggressive, grow up too fast, get “bored” playing regular games?
I guess time will tell…