I was very much against letting my kids play video games before the age of 8…just like I was against letting them watch television, eat at McDonalds and play in the mud, but I think we all know how THAT turned out. There were a lot of things I thought I would never allow my kids to do; especially play video games! A few years ago, I was at a friends house and her 4 year old was expertly manuevering a “Bob the Builder” game on the computer. I sat in awe and amazement that this still-craps-in-his-pants little boy could be so astute at the computer and I could barely keep up! I left her house smiling smugly(as many people without children do), and thinking, “That is soooo sad. He should be out playing outside instead of sitting in front of a computer all day. I bet he’ll have ADD or something.”
Yes, things are much more black and white when you don’t have children. It’s just soooooo easy to cast judgement on the parenting choices of others, and swear that YOU’LL never do “that.” But that’s because you haven’t actually faced a steaming mad, screaming toddler in the face who is not amused with the thousand dollars worth of toys you’ve collected, and the only thing that will keep his/her attention long enough for you to take that wicked pee that you promised yourself you would take(oh, about an hour ago), is a Baby Einstein video or Yo Gabba Gabba on the TiVo.
So, needless to say I’ve changed my stance on many things over the 3.5 years I’ve been a mother, and video games is one of them. We got a Wii for Christmas, and I have to say that EVERYONE loves it! Max has one game in particular that he loves called, “Carnival,” which he refers to as, “Carnival Wii.” Even Ryan and I have stayed up many nights playing the sports games and bragging about who KO’d whom in the Boxing game. It has even turned into quite a powerful bargaining tool, “If you eat your green beans, then you can play the Wii,” or, “If you don’t throw a fit when we leave the store, then you can play the Wii.” Yes, Ryan then complies with all of my requests, as does the 3 year old….most of the time.