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The Debate: My Son and Video Games

Since the launch of On Parenting, I've hoped to get more voices represented here. After all, I only have two same-gender kids of certain ages. And all families face some unique challenges. Finally, my constant nagging of co-workers has paid off -- please welcome guest blogger Ju-Don Marshall Roberts. If you have a guest blog you'd like to post in On Parenting, please e-mail it to parenting@washingtonpost.com.

By Ju-Don Marshall Roberts

My son is a video-game-playing phenom. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but nonetheless, he's pretty good at playing video games. I take some pride but mostly shame in his ability to manipulate game controllers and maneuver players to reach his goal.

Why? He's only 3 years old, and my husband and I disagree about the appropriateness of such games at his age.

I think some exposure to video games, the educational kind, is okay. My husband, on the other hand, feels our son is already ahead of the pack and a little bit of Sonic the Hedgehog or James Bond (yes, James Bond) won't hurt him. The problem is, it's not just a little bit of video-game playing. It's an obsession.

Even if his favorite cartoon is on, his sister and cousins are heading outside to play, or the other kids are choreographing dance routines and singing karaoke, my son will not move, if left alone, from in front of the video game. When he wakes up, he tries to head straight for the rec room. If I'm in another part of the house and hear him crying, it's often because one of the other kids refuses to play the game with him or won't turn it on and push all the necessary buttons so he can play.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but it's driving me crazy that he's so addicted. I have nightmares about him growing into an adult with no social skills -- a recluse content to be holed up in his house with just his video games.

I do feel very fortunate that there is very little that my husband and I disagree about in raising our children. On faith, values, the importance of education, chores, we're like-minded, and when we disagree, it's usually one of us telling the other out of earshot of the children that maybe we should have handled something differently.

The "Today Show" recently took a look at this issue. Stacy DeBroff, writing for the show's Web site, states: "When Mom and Dad disagree over even minor parenting issues, the repercussions echo throughout the whole next day and the whole family."

She offers some good tips for negotiating such disagreements. Among them: Pick your battles, respect your partner's views and form a united front (I'll add that parents can agree to disagree and then negotiate one approach).

Are any of you facing similar situations? I'd love to hear what issues you're grappling with and how or if you were able to compromise with your spouse.

Guest blogger Ju-Don Marshall Roberts is a mother of two children ages 9 and 3 and the managing editor of washingtonpost.com.

By Ju-Don Roberts |  May 25, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  The Debate
Previous: Supernanny's 'Seeds' | Next: Some Parents Make It Home...

Comments


My partner and I have had the same disagreement since our son was 4 or 5. I think video games are OK and can even aid in the development of fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. She feels they should be banned from the planet. We compromised in the name of "he needs to have a point of reference when everyone at school is talking about Level 5 on Lego Star Wars." We do limit his total scren time (tv,video games, computer) to 30 minutes per day during the week and one hour on weekends.

Parenting is the ultimate in "job sharing" - if you aren't on top of your communications, it will show up! Between staggering work hours to keep him out of afterschool care (expensive and not optimal given his Asperger's) and covering the demands of a household and life in general there are days when we can't really connect as well as we would like. We do insist on an 8:00 start to pajama and bedtime (he can read until 9:00) so that we can get at least an hour or two to ourselves to catch up on the day - we have found that to be quite helpful. We also go out to dinner (doesn't have to be expensive) but we try to limit the "kid talk" to the first 30 minutes or so. I'll admit sometimes the issues can creep past the 30 minute mark but at least if they get heated we are in public and have to behave ourselves!

Posted by: Circle Pines | May 25, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Phil | May 25, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Our sons (5 and 8) have been playing video games for the past two years -- the younger one mostly watching until recently. The rule of the house is, no video games or TV until homework is 100% done, and we only allow them to play for up to two hours a day. Sounds like a lot? Between sharing the single game console and interruptions for other necessary chores, like washing up for dinner, to hear them tell it "we never let them play". I commend the parents commenting above who limit play to 30 minutes a day. I'd like to add that "Lego Star Wars" is close to a perfect video game for our boys and I recommend it for its fun, depth of play, two-player abilities and its genius of representing violence as a bunch of lego bricks flying apart.

Posted by: Gary Goldberg | May 25, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

re: Parental Disagreement

There is nothing wrong with parents disagreeing on issues, but what the family reacts to is the emotional intensity of the "discussion". Often, the most angry, aggressive, or passionate parent "wins" the argument. then the real problem begins and a damanging trend gets set where one parent gets manipulated by the other's anger. DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

I find that my kids get grumpy from playing video games. There is always another level to get to, so even after gaming for hours, the player feels unsatisfied - yes, the very foundations of addiction. And the problem with video games is that it leaves the child mentally drained , but not physically exhausted, so the child ends up very grumpy without being able to take a nap. A good balance to this issue is to make sure the 3 year old gets plenty of excersize before playing the games, then when he gets whiney, you only have to put up with a few minutes of crying after you pull the plug and before he falls asleep.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 25, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Phil. It's nice to see some positive lite on video games. In moderation video games can have quite a positive effect. They can improve eye/hand coordination, analytical/reasoning skills (some games), and recent studies indicate that certain games can also improve vision when it forces the player to focus in on key elements on the screen while ignoring other stimuli. There just needs to be a balance between gaming and other activities.

Posted by: Nite | May 25, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely - difficulty in communicating on parenting issues can present major problems to the household. Many a marriage and family has been broken down as a result. While the author's issue is small at this point; it is good they are taking a head'up approach to make sure it doesn't get out of control. Because that is what happens. They need to remember they are parents first and their role of being a parent which is to raise their child to be a healthy, responsible, and mature adult. They are friends second to their kids. But above all they are each others spouses - and they need to respect each other as such and very sacredly. And they need to compromise.

As far as video games... it becomes an addiction. Life is all about balance. If this kid is only 3 and already addicted.. the flag is up!!! Let him be a kid the old-fashioned way by playing with legos or running around outside; or otherwise the video and then on to the computer will eventually consume him.

Posted by: C.W. | May 25, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

"When Mom and Dad disagree over even minor parenting issues, the repercussions echo throughout the whole next day and the whole family."

I think this is baloney. Disagreement happens in every family. Unless by "disagree over even minor parenting issues" she means "scream and shout and curse at each other", I highly doubt that anyone even remembers the next day that there was a mild debate about whether sonny-boy should be allowed to jump from the fourth stair.

Regarding video games, we have been uber-cautious about allowing our kids to play on the computer at all. In the last month or so, my son has been allowed to "drive" with his dad on this trucks/cars game that uses a force-feedback wheel. Judging from the thrilled reaction, he would do it all day if allowed, or at least until he was stumbling. We are going to buy some software targeted for his age group later this summer and get him used to using a mouse. I do think that some exposure can be mildly educational, but I tell you here and now that my children will NEVER be allowed to play video games for more than 30-60 minutes a day, ever. Even when they're teenagers. There's more to life than sitting glassy-eyed in front of a screen.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 25, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Most of our disagreements come from me being "fun dad" and eschewing discipline (it can be hard to be tough on the little guy during the weekdays when you only see him from 6-8pm). Usually a gentle side conversation resolves things.

Fortunately, we agree on not having video games in the house.

Posted by: gil | May 25, 2007 8:33 AM | Report abuse

My 5 year old was in a similar situation recently - setting time limits didn't seem to help with his obession with video games and it was really disturbing me. My biggest concern was that he didn't want to play outside, his legos and toy cars were gathering dust, and he generally seemed unsatisfied or frustrated with any non-computer entertainment. Setting limits on computer time made him obsess about the limits, and he was always talking about when he'd be allowed on the computer again. On the bright side, if I wanted a stretch of uninterrupted time for anything I could just send him to the computer and he'd be entertained for hours if necessary.

A few months ago our computer crashed and we lost everything. We had no computer for a couple of weeks (DH and I were in withdrawal, as were our kids). When we got it repaired, we didn't put any games on it, and since the kids had gotten out of the habit of playing we didn't mention it to them.

Life for everyone has been SO MUCH BETTER. Our kids are playing more, outdoors more, and the 5 year old's behavior has improved significantly. My older son is reading more.

I know this doesn't answer your question about when parents disagree, but on the computer question, I do think computer games can be a real problem with a kid who is prone to obsession.

Posted by: Virginia | May 25, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I think the best way to settle a disgreement with my wife is to challenge her to a head-to-head Battlefield competition on Playstation. Winner take all.

Unfortunately she didn't go for it and instead asked me to go to counseling. "But that's for people who have marriage problems", I said. She said "I'm an immature dork and I need to find a time machine to take me into the 21st century". Well after that comment I was ready to go to counseling because she clearly has some issues.

Counseling was the best thing ever. It's amazing how much better we are communicating. Yes, counseling is for people who have severe marriage problems, but it's also for people who have great marriages and want to make sure it stays that way.

If you find your disagreements are causing some anger and resentment, take action before it's too late and find professional help. And yes, as it turns out, I was an immature dork.

Posted by: Mr. Dork | May 25, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I never had any kind of video game system growing up, and although it was an earlier age of video games, it was the era when EVERYBODY had a Nintendo (the earliest version of Nintendo..."Super Mario Brothers" etc.) I occasionally thought I wanted one but never enough to make it a big issue with my parents, and now I really do think it's better I didn't. While I don't think viedo games are inherently evil or everyone should get rid of them, I do think moderation should be enforced by parents...I did spend one summer being babysat by the mom of a friend who had a Nintendo, and her Mom let us play 2 hours a day, and if it wasn't turned off when she said, she took it away for the next day. Worked just fine and we found lots of other things to do.

Posted by: CE | May 25, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Speaking as someone whose family were always early adopters of technology, I played video games at a young age (age 5) through my adult life. In my personal experience, video games were a gateway to a greater understanding of technology because of a lifetime of using a PC (I did not have a console until I was in my teens). The also did not cause me to transform into an un-social mutant.

That said, my parents put limits on my usage of the computer, and I had to live with that. They did the same with television (and had a deathly aversion to cable, until C-SPAN became too much of a convenience for them to not have it).

As for Mrs. Roberts' child specifically I might point out that he may be "addicted" to video games because he is good at them. The positive reinforcement he recieves because of his ability encourages him to play more, particularly if he does not feel as skilled in other areas. If she and her husband want to encourage him to branch out in his interests, I suspect they will need to find something that will also meet that need.

They could also compromise on something more interactive like Dance Dance Revolution or the Wii. She shouldn't cave in on her instincts regarding James Bond though. I think age three is a bit young for realistic violence. Stick with games rated E.

Posted by: David S | May 25, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Father of 4

Soumds like you are using your kids as substitutes for adult friends. Weird.

Posted by: Spike | May 25, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I think it is disruptive to the day when parents disagree in front of the kids about parenting issues. On the other hand, I think it is an important lessen to see us talk through a disagreement and come to a resolution on non-parenting issues.

On this issue we made the very conscious decision to discourage video playing in our family. Our 4 year old son has never played a video game. (it's coming but I hope to delay as much as possible)
Like a lot of things, this was a lot easier because we talked about and both of us agreed ahead of time.

I will add that almost all kids that play a lot of video games will be just fine socially as they get older.

Posted by: Josey | May 25, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I think your son needs to get out of the video room and do some real world physical activities. He sounds precocious regarding his video skills, but he will have his whole life ahead of him to develop those. My wife and I have two daughters who are 9 and 3 and we let the older one use the computer for half an hour after she has done her homework and studied music lessons. We let the younger one watch some TV, but we always put a time limit on that. I think you should put your kid on a tricycle or give him a basketball to go throw around...anything to show him that video is merely an artistic representation of the real world. Regarding your husband's reaction, it sounds like he needs to spend more time with the kids himself to get a better feel for the kind of activities they are involved in.

Posted by: TTJ | May 25, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

3 years old is awfully young to be obsessed wtih video games. Clearly, you've made a mistake in allowing him to play them. For the moment, you really should take them away from him completely. Perhaps in a couple years you can reintroduce them -- with limits. However, your story is just terrible. I'm so sorry that your husband doesn't see this as a problem.

Posted by: Ryan | May 25, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

We don't have video games at home. We just got rid of cable too. My kids are outside playing badminton right now. They do well socially at school even with the other kids who are video game addicts. As for fine hand-eye coordination they draw, do hand-work (knitting, sewing, etc.) and write.

My husband and I generally agree on childrearing, when we don't we talk it out. Then if we can't agree, we read some research, talk with other parents and teachers. The we talk again. We try to pattern our family not only after our own families, but also families who have children older than ours who are bright, engaged, physically fit, and happy.

Posted by: kate | May 25, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I find it's good for hand-eye coordination and other skills in the child. However, we noticed our son getting drained but still with energy and didn't know how to get it out. So we got off the next-level games and put in sports games that have a limit to the length of time they play. We started this in March of 06 and we had our son mirror the Nationals season, he did a lot better than the Nats did. The games only lasted an hour if that and he would play the game, keep track of different things that happened by writing them in a notebook and we'd go to the game that night to see what happened. We let him play more when he writes in his notebook because he's spendind an hour writing and an hour actually playing the game.

He's now making trades and is a baseball GM in the making I think. But when baseball season ends, we let him play other games like the NFL, NHL and NBA games. He still does better than our sports teams though, but his writing has gotten a lot better and he even writes game stories. He's learned how to lose which is something kids in today's society never learn in their don't-keep-score and everyone-gets-a-trophy leagues. He also likes to go outside and play sports with his friends and they come up with different activities unrelated to sports. They're thinking and using their heads more.

Video games are a good idea in moderation. They do teach a lot, you just have to get the right games to do it.

Posted by: Gamer | May 25, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"he did a lot better than the Nats did"...c'mon, was that really a challenge?

Posted by: 1975 | May 25, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Three years old is too young to be sitting, staring at a video screen for any length of time. Aside from the addiction issue, there is always the fact that it is not exercise (so he is encouraged to be sedentary), and he is constantly staring at a bright screen. In 10 years, you will have a chunky kid who needs glasses and doesn't know how to play with other kids because he's used to being off by himself. True, the same can be said of books, but at least they are learning something when reading.

Plus, with video games, there are no real consequences. In real life, if you shoot someone, they die, if you crash your car, you get hurt, etc. It's hardered to get a "do-over" in real life, but video games reinforce that concept. That you get three lives and if you screw up, you can start from scratch by hitting play again and everything is the same.

I think we should encourage our kids to play more in the real world and leave the days of sitting in front of a computer screen for much, much later. The people who excel in our society are not the ones who do what everyone else is doing, but the ones who go their own way. Famous actors who don't watch tv., but read a lot, musicians who listen to their parents old records rather than the factory produced crap that rest of the VH1 generation is plugged into, athletes who rose to stardom by being the last one inside on summer nights playing, practicing, while their friends are parked inside watching cable, watching other athletes.......let's teach our kids to DO, not WATCH.

Having said ALL that, I'm turning off the computer now! Bye!

Posted by: Kris | May 25, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

What starts out as moderation, soon becomes a proxy pacifier.

My nephews are obsessed with it, to the point that they become anti-social and withdrawn.

I think video games are horrid devices.

Posted by: Dan | May 25, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Dan -- I know what you mean. I almost never see my neighbor's kids. They play video games all day long. The room where they play reeks of teenage boy. Not a good smell.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 25, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I was a FIRM believer in getting my son interested in computers by 18 months and by age 3 he asked me to go to the NickJr websites and other places to play online games. However, when he became obsessed with an online maze game- something he was really good at and was helpful in developing logic skills, but made him cranky, I had to tell him he had to stop. I think computer games are perfectly fine for kinds in moderation. In general they are no different from any other game (age appropriate of course!) and I LOVED computer games as a kid. But computer games are not like art or music or reading or one of these skills that has real-world benefits. If a kid wants to do art 24/7 and has real skills then parents owe it to the kid to get them in classes. If the kid is great at music, then get them training. but computer games are entertainment. If as a parent you can't translate computer game skills into creating web pages, writing programs or other tasks- and I've met 8 and 9 year old programmers, it's hardly something they can't handle- then the kids should be limited in how many games they play. I also feel that the Urban Action games aka, Vice City give the wrong impression to teenagers about what real life is life. I don't non-sci-fi or non-historic first person shooters are healthy and I would never play one nor let my kids play one. Doom and Call of Duty are removed from reality enough to be like an action movie. My take on it is, if we can play it online for free we will, but we aren't going to buy anything.

Posted by: DCer | May 25, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I work in IT, writing computer programs and helping manage a website, and I never even sat down at a computer until I was in college. My point: kids don't need computer games to develop. Childhood should be a time for outdoor play, imaginative play (like with blocks or Lego), sandbox play, games, drawing and coloring, and reading. My wife and I didn't even own a TV until my oldest daughter was 7. Now we only let our kids watch PBS or videos (that we choose to let them have). They watch an hour a day, max. They have a few computer games. One we like is Lego Chess. We also have a few that help them learn math and English. Bottom line: kids don't need any kind of entertainment that involves a screen and they can't have too much play (once chores are done).

Posted by: Dan | May 25, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't think there's anything wrong with video games; as others have said, the right games can be both entertaining and educational, and some limited time with a game console won't hurt an average child.

That said, three is WAY too young for the Bond series. I love those games, but they are not for kids younger than the early teens/tween age. You need to tell your husband, quite gently, to stuff it, and get that game (and games like it) away from that three-year-old. Also, limits are necessary for a child that age. He might cry for a day, but in the long run, he won't even remember it.

Posted by: a gamer | May 25, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

My 13 year old son is an avid video game player and has plans for the future that fit neatly into the zeitgeist. He wants to develop skills to join the military and fly Predator drones and other remote-controlled military vehicles (= bombs.) He frequently uses the online name Telemachos ("He Who Fights From Afar".) I believe game skills will play a significant role in future military technology, so my son's video gaming doesn't worry me a great deal.

Posted by: Odie | May 25, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

By Odie at 10:53 AM:

"I believe game skills will play a significant role in future military technology, so my son's video gaming doesn't worry me a great deal."

Video games already play a big role in military technologies, particularly simulations. It seems like they are using these in the same venue as Wargames at current.

That, and they are being used as a recruitment device. The Army game that came out a few years back was very popular.

Posted by: David S | May 25, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"We compromised in the name of "he needs to have a point of reference when everyone at school is talking about Level 5 on Lego Star Wars.""

Wouldn't it be awesome if a 5 year old's "point of reference" with his kindergarten classmates were, I don't know, yesterday's sunset, or the upcoming town duck races, rather than 'Level 5 on Lego Star Wars'?

Posted by: too much to ask? | May 25, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think the parents need to reach some sort of common understanding of what they consider reasonable and agree on what limits they will set for at least the next few years.

Once that's done, adhere to those limits. I definitely think there should be some limits on someone that young.

Obsessing is ok, but there needs to be some boundary to get exposure to other things and maintain a good life.

Posted by: Liz D | May 25, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Call me an idiot (thank you) but I have little worry about my son learning to use a computer some day. Have you ever seen kids use a computer? Talk about hitting the ground running. I estimate that he will achieve my level of proficiency in about 5 minutes. Right now he's really into mud and sticks.

Kids have a lot to learn before they settle into reading, writing, arithmatic and computers. If I had more money, my son would be in a Waldorf school.

Posted by: Josey | May 25, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Josey

"If I had more money, my son would be in a Waldorf school."

And you might know hot spell "arithmetic"!

Sheesh!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 25, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

1:35, isn't it sweet when someone tries to rip on a poster's spelling/grammar/word choice/syntax, then screws it up themselves?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 25, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Josey,

Be careful with Waldorf. They are into astral projection and connecting with children on astral planes. If this floats your boat, great. If not, investigate them very closely. It isn't just innocent play (similar to Montessori) but a real cult in some ways. How do I know? I attended one. We spent more time doing things other than schoolwork, and when I got to college, I was at a huge idadvantage.

Posted by: Waldorf school | May 25, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, typo, should have been "disadvantage".

Read anything by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of "Waldorf-ism"

Posted by: Waldorf school | May 25, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be awesome if a 5 year old's "point of reference" with his kindergarten classmates were, I don't know, yesterday's sunset, or the upcoming town duck races, rather than 'Level 5 on Lego Star Wars'?
----------
No! you mean the episode where Will and Holly first meet Enik the Sleestack.

That cow was out of the barn by 1964.

Posted by: DCer | May 25, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Eh. My stepdaughter is allowed to play Diego's Wildlife Adventure once a week. Annnnd...that's it. She can watch Daddy play his racing game for about ten minutes, and we'll find baby animal videos on YouTube, but I'm not one to justify institutionalized violence with "but all the OTHER kids are doing it!"

Posted by: Kat | May 25, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't like video games and my husband is on the same page with me there -- I plan on just not having them. This is a battle I would choose to fight, more than tv. I think they are potentially a bigger problem in a lot of ways.

I will tell the kids when they are older and if they express interest that if they play sometimes at their friends' houses that's fine, but in our house we don't want them and that's that. As it is we just don't watch that much tv anyway and my son (3 1/2) has not touched the computer and has only looked at photos and the occasional cartoon on it, but not used the mouse or keyboard himself. My daughter will not watch tv until she's 2. We try to spend most of our time outside and when that's not possible, do reading and crafts, and free play, inside. When kids are preschool age I think it's not that hard to direct them to doing other stuff, or you can just go somewhere else -- to a playground or festival, and they won't even think about games or tv. My son generally doesn't even ask to watch tv even because he's got plenty of other things to do and we don't offer it except for one 15 minute children's program in the evenings.

Posted by: KS | May 30, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"When Mom and Dad disagree over even minor parenting issues, the repercussions echo throughout the whole next day and the whole family."

What a bunch of pop-psy crap! Stacy DeBroff is absurd. She believes that kids should exist in a bubble their entire lives, never exposed to any sort of "trauma". She's as bad and lacking in knowledge as anybody in the media today.

And Odie: how do you plan to get your son into the military if he's 5-foot-8 and tips the scales at 220? Get that kid outside before it's too late, and stop using the game console as a babysitter, you lazy lout.

Posted by: Tommo | May 30, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

My oldest son started playing video games with his Dad when he was 2. By the time he was 3 he was holding his own playing against my husband and his friends. Now this was 15yrs ago and we still laugh at the look on my husbands buddies faces when they got their bottom kicked by a toddler. He graduates high school this year, has excelled may I add, he is a computer guy and a football jock. We have 3 other children who like their older brother were introduced to video games at a young age. My children are all very smart, the middle 2 were reading in kindergarten, the baby reads and writes and doesn't start school until the fall. I attribute most of that to learning games. I have never set a time limit on their video / computer time. They all love the outdoors and playing with their other toys too. My point is I think you are putting too much emphasis on kids playing games. Sit down and play with them, you might enjoy the time you have together. No different than playing a game of sorry or trouble.

Posted by: Mom in her 40's who knows a thing or 2 | May 30, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I too have a 3 year old that knows how to play an X-Box Star Wars game. He only gets to play with it at his "pappas" house because I don't allow video games in my house. He is really good at the game and doesn't need any help even with the menu's. I struggle with it because my son is constantly asking if we can go to "pappa's" house so he can play the video game. If it were up to him he would play it all day but I have set a limit with my dad (pappa) that he can only play for 1 hour per visit. I try to get my son into other activities, like trains, lego's, and books but none of them are quite as entertaining as the Star Wars video game. If only they could make a video game that you could blow up the alphabet or learn to count while hopping around on the screen perhaps that would be better for his mind.

Posted by: Jen Bundy | June 16, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It's really serious that such a undeveloped mind has been consumed of the games and please note that if you hide the games from your child and he reacts strangly I think this would be the time to get all the help possible. Knowing that he's addicted to the game it would be best to take them away until his brain is developed cause you know undevleoped minds would take any information possible knowing that their "will power" is very low to reach the rebellious stage and make decisions. Better to know that your child wont be thinking playing or thinking about games for a long time and dont worry he will get used to it. Thank you for reading this.

Posted by: Anthony | June 17, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

oh and a comment about "circle pine's" comment. Yes having a reference when young can change yourself and which that would be your own genes. You own genes will consist of many references from the past and the words people say out from their mouth. Like i said my last comment your brain is undeveloped and would take any information possible. Circle pine's schedule is really brilliant knowing that they have control.

Posted by: Anthony | June 17, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

oh um Gary Goldberg XD. It's good that you have control of your kids but i would think that as they get older the kids would do ANYTHING to play their games and i know from previous times my cousan Jeff plays a lot of games and hes 9 so I came up to him and asked him if he did his homework or not. No doubt he said "yes" and so I asked his mom this "Did Jeff do anything today?" She started to go still until she rushed into Jeff's room and saw him playing games. Let me tell you this...the story i just told you...that is minor to all the stuff that can happen if you were held to a homework chain until the homeowork was done, but for instance if you think about your kid trying to steal games at a store just so they can play it...it's like their friends were telling him/her about it getting them all excited. The main point I am getting to is if your kids play games ask yourself this "Does my child take the games for grantged?" Thank you for reading this.

Posted by: Anthony | June 17, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

oh um Gary Goldberg XD. It's good that you have control of your kids but i would think that as they get older the kids would do ANYTHING to play their games and i know from previous times my cousan Jeff plays a lot of games and hes 9 so I came up to him and asked him if he did his homework or not. No doubt he said "yes" and so I asked his mom this "Did Jeff do anything today?" She started to go still until she rushed into Jeff's room and saw him playing games. Let me tell you this...the story i just told you...that is minor to all the stuff that can happen if you were held to a homework chain until the homeowork was done, but for instance if you think about your kid trying to steal games at a store just so they can play it...it's like their friends were telling him/her about it getting them all excited. The main point I am getting to is if your kids play games ask yourself this "Does my child take the games for granted?" Thank you for reading this.

Posted by: Anthony | June 17, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

oh um Gary Goldberg XD. It's good that you have control of your kids but i would think that as they get older the kids would do ANYTHING to play their games and i know from previous times my cousan Jeff plays a lot of games and hes 9 so I came up to him and asked him if he did his homework or not. No doubt he said "yes" and so I asked his mom this "Did Jeff do anything today?" She started to go still until she rushed into Jeff's room and saw him playing games. Let me tell you this...the story i just told you...that is minor to all the stuff that can happen if you were held to a homework chain until the homeowork was done, but for instance if you think about your kid trying to steal games at a store just so they can play it...it's like their friends were telling him/her about it getting them all excited. The main point I am getting to is if your kids play games ask yourself this "Does my child take the games for granted?" Thank you for reading this.

Posted by: Anthony | June 17, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

...oh sorry guys i didnt notice i put spam. Sorry, my computer didnt react when i clicked sumbit.

Posted by: Anthony | June 17, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

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