Life The Video Game Contract

November 5, 20190

Video games… Aye ya ya! 🙍  It is a constant STRUGGLE with our 8 year old.  We now have our time frame set on how much screen time he gets playing video games…and I hate the games he chooses.  http://

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He likes to play shooting games. Which boy doesn’t right? He plays with his nerf guns, he practices shooting at a range with his Dad who is a hunter, and he runs around the house playing pretend shooting games. Yes I know boys do that. I remember my brothers playing cowboys all the time with their cap guns.  It’s just a different time of life now.

For a while he was playing a Battleship game with his Dad. It was great. Yes you are shooting ships and there is a lot of STRATEGIC learning going on.  They would have awesome conversations on strategy.  

Now he is back to the regular shooting games.  No blood or gore, more like shooting at robots, but I struggle him wasting his AMAZING brain on these thoughtless games.  

His video game screen time is 20 minutes on Wednesdays (after homework is complete) and Fridays and one hour on Saturdays and Sundays.  I really try to keep my mouth shut when he wants to play his video games. It doesn’t go very well. I ENCOURAGE other games like going back to Battleship or building roller coasters which he really likes to do. But NO, he resorts to the shooting game.  This drives me NUTS and every single time it ends with the same result, us both getting FRUSTRATED. 

NOW THIS IS A PATTERN WE NEED TO CHANGE BECAUSE I CAN’T STAND THE END RESULT ANYMORE!

So finally, my husband stepped in. He called an IMMEDIATE family meeting!  He was the FACILITATOR. We each had a chance to EXPLAIN our viewpoints on these games.  Then we had to come up with an agreement on what we will both be able to accept a compromise.  After going back and forth, our contract is this….

On Sundays and Wednesdays the boy can play his shooting game. On Fridays and Saturdays he has to choose a different game that doesn’t consist of shooting unless it is Battleship or WII hunting (he wants to hunt when he is 12 so that is the reason. It may defeat the purpose but I definitely don’t think this game is mindless shooting. Some of you may disagree).

We all signed the contract and now it is hanging up on our FRIDGE. It has definitely made this topic much EASIER now so I just have to MONITOR what he chooses and makes sure he sets his timer.  

After the fact, my husband and I REFLECTED.  I made sure to let him know how much I appreciated him stepping in and leading us to a RESOLUTION.  

His one bit of feedback for me …tell the boy EXACTLY why you don’t want him to play those games.   I looked at him and said, “I did.” He said, “Not specifically.” He was right when I thought about it. I really had to tell my son, I don’t like that you are playing games that shoot at others because guns are dangerous and they aren’t toys, etc…   Even though he “knows” that, I’m not sure he “knows” that. Catch my drift? He is still an 8 year old boy who is in the “play zone” when he is playing and doesn’t really think about anything else.  

My husband was on the outside of this conflict between my son and I and having him step in and GUIDE us to a RESOLUTION has definitely taken away the JOY CRUSHING situation so that this isn’t a point of contention. YAY!

Sometimes we need someone else who is an OBSERVER on the outside to do this. When we are in the middle of a situation it’s hard to REFLECT on it to come up with a resolution. 

I CHALLENGE you to observe the situations between your significant other and your child, grandparent and child, or two siblings.  What do you see that can be SHIFTED to create a CHANGE in PATTERN so that things can be more JOYFUL. I guarantee there is something! You just may need someone else to see it. 

Living in DAILY JOY,

Lauren

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