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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Taking the Wii Plunge and Living to Tell the Tale (but will it ruin my kids?)

Today is an awesome day here at Moms without Blogs. You know why? Because we have a brand new real live mom without a blog taking a crack at writing something for all the internetz to see.

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…


  1. funny how even the best laid plans seem to fly out the window when it comes to our kids.

    i wonder if this is the type of stuff people refer to when they say "but we did everything right" as their kids are being carted off to jail?

    somehow, i have a sneaking suspicion your kids are going to be just fine. mine are still alive and functioning at a fairly high level and they have been exposed (and sometimes encouraged by me to participate) in just about every evil, kid-ruining activity created.

  2. Wii is like chocolate. It's fine in moderation. too much will make you fat. It can also be a great motivator (get your homework done, eat your dinner, clean your room, etc.) and a great punishment. As long as you treat it like dessert and not a main course, you'll be fine. Now, get in there and start playing it WITH them.

  3. my kids all play the wii. They also watch tv, and eat cheetos, and run outside naked, and sneak soda at parties when they think I am not looking, and stick their fingers in their butt holes and then wipe their hands on the walls, and fight and call each other names, and love commercials and infomercials, and go to Disneyland, and eat cotton candy, and sometimes don't even brush their teeth.

    I blame it ALL on the wii.

  4. I can totally understand why you would want to bring the power back into your court. I let my daughter watch a few shows here and there and so other people think she is allowed to watch everything. I guess as parents we can only do so much.

    Hey, maybe you can have family wii nights, just think of it as family bonding.

  5. To Laura up above .... they put their fingers in their buttholes and then wipe them on the walls? Oh thank God for blogging where we get to hear about other families dirty little secrets! I can't say I've experienced that one ... yet.

    I also agree with Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas ... everything in moderation is a pretty good rule of thumb. Now your kids won't want to move in with the neighbors just because they have Wii. Hopefully your Wii will lose some of it's attraction now that they get it at home.

  6. Amy! Welcome to mwob! THANKS for adding your voice to this party!

    We've had a Wii for 2 years and it is not played NEARLY as much as it was in the first few weeks/months. My advice would be to stay away from buying a bunch of games. Most will be played a few times then never again. The ones it comes with are plenty - with a few sporty/musical ones mixed it. Mario Kart is great. My Sims is really good - they make their own cities. Four to five games tops.

    I was just thinking about getting into a couple of the game myself, so I can hold my own. Plus, the kids seem to like it when I play along - mostly because I'm lame and they like to laugh at me. Nice kids, huh? Anyway, this has given me new resolve - I'm going to secretly practice and then kick their butts! :)

    Amy - keep us posted - I'll be looking forward to hearing about what the neighbor kids think of playing Wii with you...oh and your kids.

  7. You're going to feel so much better. You care enough to supervise and limit the time they play. They'll have a good time with their friends in smaller doses.

    Good post, ya newbie! (to blogging, not motherhood :)

  8. eThanks everyone for your comments. Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas...I have been doing what you said and you are right it is a great motivator and punishment.

    I just keep finding more and more shit on the walls though...all because of Wii!!!!

  9. I'm big about them having choices and I think because of it, they make better choices in the long run. My parents bought a Wii for the kids - they don't always want to play it, but when they do want to, we let them. But I also don't limit the TV either. I am careful what my little one watches, but I don't worry about how much of it she watches. Most of the time she watches 2 shows (Dora, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Arthur etc.) and she's ready to go play in her room or outside. Sometimes she chooses to watch a little more. We're OK with that. She's learning to limit herself and make her own choices. We're the same with food and drinks - she can have soda, candy etc, but most of the time she chooses veggies and water. I think parenting is about raising children who will someday be able to make the right choices on their own and the earlier they make them - the better.

  10. Some of the most fun I've with my kiddos is when we play Wii together. Snowed in here in Dallas, and my Oldest (7) and I spent the morning playing Mario & Sonic Winter Olympics while Youngest (almost 4) cheered us on.

    They're both so excited to start watching the real games today. Including curling.

    How many 7-year-olds know about curling?

    Don't get me wrong, the Wii went off after a while and out came Candyland - for 9 games in a row.

    Moderation rocks, baby!

    (welcome to bloggyworld!)


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