Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Two weeks until Hanukkah and I am being besieged by my 10 year old for electronics.  We are a household without hook-up-to-the-t.v. type of games.  No X-box, Play Station (1, 2 or 3), Wii, not even Atari.  Do my kids even need another distraction?

The kids only had use of an old ipod until #1 turned nine.  Then he got an ipod touch.  Prior to that there was no ds or any other game distractions.  We decided to consider the ipod or ds, feeling the time was right.  The ds seemed cool because it had lots of learning options.  It also had lots of parts and was unlike anything we had before.  So, the touch we went.  This would enable him to have his own music sorts and games.

We followed that up with one for #2 when she turned eight.  She's very thrifty and had saved enough cash to buy her own.  She was ready.  We're all under the same account, so can share games and music.  #1 doesn't like to share.

#3 just turned seven.  She wants one so bad.  When she was in the hospital for over a week, I wanted one for her.  We just shared my phone.  So much so, she knows my password.  I pass locked my phone so the kids couldn't just grab and go.  Even though I have oodles of games, I still want control.  Hmm, I wonder where #1 gets it.  #3 is also working to increase her fluency in reading.  She does not need another distraction.

All of my kids are t.v. zombies.  If a screen is on, they are glued to it and cannot tear away.  When they are allowed to play games on the computer, it is the same thing.  When I let the little 2 play on my phone, I have to pry it away from them.

We have friends who have imposed school-year rules of no screens during the week.  I wish we had that in place.  We have a no t.v. during the week rule and no ipod before school or at the table rule.  That's better than nothing I guess.

In polling friends, many sing the praises of the Wii.  "It gives them coordination", "we use it as a family", "there are some educational components to it", and so on.  I am not sure this is the type of "family time" we need.  We should be doing more family reading, family board games and other activities.  We already don't have enough time in the week to get our family things done.

I am very hesitant to add something for my kids to be relegated to the garage to use.  On the other hand, if it's 2 or more people games, this could add to the kid bonding we are lacking.  But what if only 2 people can play at a time?  There are 4 kids in this house!  What?  There are games for 4?  They require more parts that cost more money, but it can be done.  Ugh.

Maybe we can survive with playing it at friends' houses for now.  I just don't feel like we're ready for this.  I'm also not sure I can handle the constant haranguing about it.  Now on to deal with the requests for air-soft guns and a trip to Hawaii....

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