Teaching My Kids to Unplug
My kids love video games, but I don't like that life is passing them by.
Both of my boys are video game addicts.
They are 6 and 8 years old, and I recognize that this behavior is pretty standard for their age. Seasoned parents have warned me that it gets worse, but I'm growing tired of their constant desire to be plugged in.
I realize that their generation will be able to text while doing everything else they need to do, including eating and bathing. Texting will be second nature to them. I understand that ... but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
I know many parents who aren't setting a good example of unplugging and being present in the moment. I've been guilty of it myself, muttering an "uh-huh" to my son while trying to make dinner and text a friend, none of those tasks getting my full attention.
"At Daddy's we can play Wii all the time," my youngest son said to me after I warned him that in five minutes the Nintendo would be put away, and he has to choose something else to do.
I can't control the rules in the other parent's house, but in mine the constant gaming has got to stop.
Once the Nintendo DS time has ended my youngest son started with the whining:
"I don't know what to do."
"Why don't you guys play a game?" I replied, since we have overflowing shelves of board games to choose from.
"I don't want to ... That's boring!"
"What about painting or Play-Doh?"
They both look at me as if I suggested they eat their own heads.
In order to eliminate the whining, I created an idea station board. After their 30-minute game time is over, they can each refer to the idea station board (located on our refrigerator) to figure out where they are going to go next. They can choose for themselves but they have to visit each square.
Each square has different clip art images I found with a quick Google search. One square is filled with arts and crafts, another is outdoor activities, and so on. I am hoping this expands their desire and ability to entertain themselves and work together on projects.