sports vrs video games


Deb - posted on 02/01/2009




Yes. It is frustrating. Here are some thoughts - -

My son is 22 and we went through this "stage". And several other stages. And are still going through more stages. My friend, who is 80+, says "Parenthood never ends." I am 49, and am starting to realize that she is totally correct.

Sometimes it seems like, whatever he is doing, I want him to do something else. When he was playing too many video games, I wanted him to go outside and get some exercise. When he was spending too much time with the wrong friends, I wanted him to sit at home and read a book. When he was interested in lifting weights and working on his muscles, I was worried that it would be detrimental to his growth. (He was 15-16 and wanted to be "buff". I was afraid that he was going to exercise so much that he would keep his body from growing in height.)

I tried to get my son interested in "group sports" several times. (Soccer when he was in grade school. Then some karate classes. Marching band in high school.) He decided to quit each of those things. And my husband and I decided to not make him do something that he was not interested in. (After all, was he doing it "for me" or "for him"?)

Now I can see some good things about his video game playing - - (*) He can type SO FAST. It is amazing. A good skill to have. (*) He is very familiar with how to use a computer. Another good skill to have. (*) He told me, just the other day, that he does not talk about his video game playing with many of his friends. Apparently most "normal" people do not spend HOURS playing video games. And he knows it. He has different interests and different groups of friends for each of his interests. (*) Now that he is 22 and works 40+ hours per week at a job - - guess what? He can't spend HOURS playing video games. But, sometimes he uses "gaming" as an "escape". (After all, when I think about it, I certainly have my "escape" activities.) (*) The video games often are intricate and you have to learn, remember and make strategies. It can actually be a useful way to learn how to plan and organize. (*) Being good at video games takes dedication and hard work.

A suggestion - - Have the whole family work on "balance". Here are some suggestions - -

.....(*) solitary activities (watching TV, playing video games, reading, etc) vs group activities (eating dinner together, playing a card game, throwing a ball at the park, etc). Insist that the family "get together". Perhaps every day for dinner? Or two times per week? Also, house / yard chores once a week. Maybe a family activity once a week. (a movie, a trip to the park, a trip to the shopping center, a fun outing)
.....(*) Talk to each other. Share stories about your day with each other. Show interest in his activities. (including asking about his video gaming - What game is he playing today? What is his high score? What is the next "hurdle"?) And tell him about your day. Something that was good. Something that was frustrating.

One more thing to consider. Your son is getting older. He is just starting to make the transition to being independent. One way is to have his own circle of friends and his own interests. Let him grow up and be independent. But, as mentioned before, have him do things with his family too. Eventually children learn that "family is important". We have to model that - by our actions.

KIM - posted on 01/31/2009




no don't force him to do sport he will hate it but i think you can alter this pattern by restricting his time on video games tell him he can only be on video for x amount and he can then chose what other activity he wants to do like reading, cinema's ect....hope this helps let me know

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