Sunday, September 12, 2010

Having a balance in your life

My blog posts will be about my youngest two children quite often, I think because they are giving me so much material!

Today, the 7-year-old wanted to play on the PlayStation quite a bit. Well, okay, it's Saturday - have some fun. But I limit it. There is no reason a child should play video games for a longer amount of time than say, a movie. Really, I think 30 minutes is enough, but I get accused of being a Puritan. So, what the hey, go play yon video games with wild abandon, because verily, it be-ith Saturday.

But nay, after a couple hours, that's it - I cannot take it anymore. Momma yells, "Kiddo, you have to get off the PlayStation and do something else!"

The next activity was also non-physical, but it was good. We watched the DVD of Mr. Dress Up that I ordered some months ago from Canada. Then we played a game of Monopoly.

Finally, bedtime rolls around. I thought 7-year-old was asleep, but I found him playing a GameBoy game while lying in bed!

Thinking I was going to have a wonderful June/Ward Cleaver meaningful conversation with my son, I talked to him about the choices he makes about how he will spend each day, explaining how he can fill his day with good choices or with bad choices.

I ended with, "Know what I mean?" And he answered, "Yes." (He was still playing the GameBoy)

"You do?"

"Uh-huh."

"Okay, then - Repeat back to me what I just said."

"Um...I wasn't listening."

[Insert the whooshing noise of me whipping that GameBoy system out of his hands]

"I'll let you play with this again tomorrow, but first I want to talk to you about the choices you are making. It's fun to play these games, but you lose track of time. You only get this one life. It's not that the video games are "bad," but when you are doing those, you are giving up the time and the opportunity to do something else - Like, riding your bike, playing with friends, learning how to skateboard...that kind of thing..."

"... It's just like when you eat. We'd love to eat candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner, wouldn't we? But that's not the best thing for us. It's not that candy is all bad - Snickers bars have peanuts in them, and that's good for you, right? But you need other foods, not just Snicker bars, to be healthy. Your video games are like the Snickers bars. They're nice and you like them, but you can't just play video games and be healthy.

Finally ending my sermon with, "You see, you need to have balance in your life so you can have a healthy life. Know what I mean?"

"You mean (holding out arms like he's on a balance beam) going like this to keep from falling?"

"Not quite." (Sigh) "Well, see you in the morning."

"Mom?"

"Yes?"

"Can I have the GameBoy back now?"

I think I've figured out why I'm starting to get those frown lines between my eyebrows now.

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