Oh my goodness I have created a monster! We have recently let Little Man start playing video games. It’s a reward, only to be played when he has done his chores and been a good boy for the day, week or whatever. To have things as rewards that the child loves, as all parents know, is gold!
“Little Man if you don’t hurry up and get that room clean you will not be playing Mario today or tomorrow!”
“Ok daddy I’m hurrying.” Music to my ears! Then he is done in minutes and we go on about our business for the day. There is a flaw in this otherwise wondrous plan. He is catching on! He has been great! He is doing all the things that I have been telling him. My plan is awesome!
Wait! He is doing so well that he is playing games constantly! This is no good at all! Stop being so smart child! You are not supposed to catch on to my parenting ways so quickly. I have an image of Little Man sitting in my basement at 30 years old in a recliner that will forever have his butt print in it.
I am starting to think that my parents had it right when video games were not allowed in our house. Their thoughts were if they weren’t there then I would not feel the urge to play them. WRONG! So I am taking a different approach. They are in the house, but we are very tightly monitoring them. My thinking is that if he gets to play them while growing up that they will not be so sensational when he gets older that they take over his life, basically learning the balance now. There is balance in all things and this is included. So once again I am teaching Little Man something that is just hitting me.
So today he did a good job cleaning his room after school. He was not happy at all when he came to me asking to play the Wii and I told him no that he needed to find something else to do. As before mentioned I have started school recently and I am now having tons of homework that I was working on at that moment. So he went to his second go to thing to do, playing outside. Perfect, just what I wanted him to do. So he gets his jacket on and heads out the door. We have a gate on the front of our apartment that can be a pain to open, but he can get it. I see him working on it and then stop and walk back in.
“My hands are cold and I can’t find my gloves. I think I’m just gonna stay inside.” No! Not what I wanted. So he stays inside and proceeds to walk around me making every conceivable noise known to man. Eventually my head explodes and I let him play for a bit so that I can think enough to finish the homework that was due that night.
So obviously giving in is not the long term answer to the problem. Along with my idea of him learning balance in video games, apparently I have to teach it to him! This is going to be fun.