Monday, August 15, 2011

Yesterday was Mike's birthday.  We celebrated with his selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner and some new 20 lb. weights to add to his growing collection.
Although his birthday is a special day, this is not what I'm talking about.

This day we did the unthinkable. The very thing I've been opposing for years.

We purchased a PlayStation 3.  I have been holding off this day for several years.  There are many reasons I have a high dislike for video games: kids rotting on them and not getting enough physical exercise, kids rotting their brains, the violence and un-friendly kid aspect to many of them and the cost. Did I mention I hate most of the games?
It's one more thing for me to monitor in this age of technology geared for kids.  And I don't like it.

But I did get myself into this mess.  Back in March, I casually mentioned to Taylor that if he saved half for a game system, we would match it.  He has been pining away, but not too vocally, about not having video games to play with. I have to say, he has been pretty good about being the last child on Earth not to have a video game system (according to him).
So that kid went and worked all summer, and saved.  He did not spend a cent.  And yesterday he rounded up his rolled coins, his cash and counted it-he had half!  Mike has been socking away change and cash as well. So we counted it all out and went and bought the damn thing.  And the amount was staggering, and I don't want to think about it.  Just too much money for one un-needed thing.

We have made rules about playing time, and talked about the kind of games Taylor *will not* be playing.  We got the Move which will actually be pretty fun for family games.  So a small part of me is excited to play games together as a family, but a small part still feels like I've given in.
I lost to the mass of commericialism and video games and to the status of having yet another "thing" that we really could get by without. But there are other things I will not budge on: TV's, phones and computers in their rooms.  Just ain't gonna happen.  I'm holding out on cell phones too.

But besides all my grumbling, there was a lesson.  Taylor worked and saved and got to see what that saving did. The good ole' lesson of saving up cold, hard cash. Hannah saved and put in a small portion as well since she gets to play it.  So that is a valuable lesson. 


Krystal said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this one. We don't have any game stations in our home and even though our kids are only 3 and 4, I've thought about how we are the only ones that I know of that don't have anything. I think it's good that you set boundaries from the beginning about what he can and can't play. I'm like you... I would be excited about what we could play as a family. I'm sure with the right monitoring, which you are obviously on top of, it can be something that will be a positive thing in his life... especially since he had to work for it. What an awesome lesson! I have heard about how all of these games improve hand eye coordination... some silver lining, I suppose. :)

I also agree about the televisions and phones in rooms and cell phones in general. I've already had relatives blow me off and tell me "Good luck" when I've talked about standing my ground on it. I'm sure my kids will think they are so deprived, but they will survive and hopefully one day be thankful. I have been hearing of eight year olds that are getting their own cell phones. Everyone uses the excuse that it's a good way to know what they are doing and where they are. I feel so old-fashioned when I think "I didn't have one and I survived."

Kristi Case said...

Thanks Krystal, good to know I'm not alone! I hate when people tell me that when my kids older I'll give in and get them the phone, the cool $100 jeans or whatever. Ummm let's see I'm the parent and I set the rules. Geez! Taylor is 11 and kids at his school have iphones, ipads and other expensive gadgets. I think that is crazy!
BTW, we are all enjoying the PS3 and the kids haven't bugged me to death about playing it every minute!!