The Art Of Shunning Video Games From The Children During Weekdays!
I learnt to tackle the above situation by an incident that happened way back when my child was a toddler.
He received a return gift, which was a fisher price racing car. It was identical to the one he already had thus, did not bother to open the wrapping.
I placed it on the shelf with the hope that once the existing car wears out with dents etc. I will open the new one.
Needless to say, my child was always interested in that wrapped toy car and kept asking me to open the wrapper for him to play (that is an obedient stage, when they take permission to open things!!)
I kept avoiding the conversation and insisted that he plays with the one in his toy bin. He would listen, but now and then the question would arise.
One evening, when he was tucked in, I decided to hide the wrapped car. He woke up the next day, looked at the empty shelf, and started searching for it in his own idiosyncratic way while I pretended to help him with a, “Oh no, where did the toy car go?”
After looking at all the odd places, I concluded that he should continue playing with his toys in the bin, and when the time comes, the car will drive back to him. He had this virtuous look in his eyes while complying with my decision. Days rolled by, and I observed that he forgot about the car.
It was as if out of sight, out of mind thing! He was very happy with his existing toy car and did not once inquire about his car that went underground.
Flash forward and till date, I use the same principal of “Out of Sight, out of Mind.”
Fortunately, video games started with smaller hand held consoles. So, this tiny Nintendo would disappear on Monday morning and appear on his bookshelf on Friday evening when he would come back from school.
Initially, the glee and joy to see his video game back on the shelf on Friday evening made him forget the disappointment he had when his game would go bye-bye on Monday mornings, but eventually he understood the scenario, and we saw a rebel in the house. Making him understand, the fact that it appears back on the days when he has no school is an accolade for him to enjoy his time with it, turned into discipline.
Years have passed by, and kids of today have PlayStations such as Wii or X-box, which, unfortunately; cannot be hidden but the ideals continue in my household.
The advantage of playing over the weekend is that it has become a social event, and family tends to get involved because of free time. This has helped us explore the many game series such as Rock band, Wii Fit, Karaoke game series, Dance Revolution series, which tend to give a good physical workout in the context of a video game.
My 2 cents
Drawing a line of moderation helps to keep the system going while respecting the playtime of the child.
Playing video games during weekdays is not awful as long as the child has respect for time (which usually does not happen) cause the definition of a juvenile would be lost if he/she keeps track of the length of an event.
Since academics take priority during weekdays, thus, for the sake of sanity I prefer electronic games to take a back seat until the weekend arrives.
Ruchira Khanna is the author of Choices published on Amazon. She blogs at http://abracabadra.blogspot.com/