Why We Choose Not to Have a Video Game System in Our House


game-console

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On Sundays I talk a little about my family so that you can get to know us better. Our choice to not have any gaming systems and limit electronics in our house makes us a bit unique.

I think we are one of the few families I know of that don’t have a video game system, only one television (with no cable or satellite that is kept in our bedroom so the kids have to ask to watch television – it only gets Netflix and Hulu. We can’t even get local stations because we are in the middle of nowhere.), one desktop computer for school and one laptop computer which all four of us share.

We made the decision a long time ago to keep the electronics to a minimum. This was our choice. Our son is Autistic and we saw many of his peers were obsessed with video games, television and other electronics. We even saw him starting down that path with his Peter Pan movie obsession and scripting of the movie when he was three-years-old before he was even diagnosed as Autistic.

It was not an easy choice for us to make. I love football. I love the parties around the Super Bowl. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Christmas Story on for 24 hours non-stop. My children were 7 and 4 when we finally made the break with cable. I was a pop-culture child of the late ’70s and early ’80s. I knew every show and person that played every character in them. Was I dooming my children to a life of being the “odd” kids for not really knowing popular culture. Because I know that my knowledge of ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars, Fantasy Island or MASH have really served me well in life.

One of his therapists asked us why we didn’t reward him for his good behavior with time playing video games or other electronics. We asked her why when we were spending so much time and effort on teaching him social skills and how to be social would we REWARD him with things that promote antisocial behavior in him? What message does that send to him that these are rewards? We were worried that we would go from working on social skills to working on getting rid of his video gaming habit.

We were more inclined to reward him with books, Legos or time doing a special activity such as going to the library, the spray zone or the gym.

So, that is why we have never had a gaming system in our house. Β it was our choice and not one we think everyone should follow but it worked for us.

Is there something you have done or not done with your children that others may think is odd? But, you did it for a very logical reason?

 

14 Comments Add yours

  1. spearfruit says:

    I personally think you made a very good choice. I do think the electronic gadgets promote younger people to be unsocial. Meaning, they may have a difficult time just talking to other people. Thanks, great post – Happy Sunday! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! You too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I too limit TV time, videos-gaming-etc. There is so much for my five to do here they are always kept very busy. I believe your son would love the fairly new LEGOLAND in Lakeland Florida-my 3 boys love it there and go often with their Dad, FIL and other Grandfather (my Dad), boys day/night out-LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      He has been wanting to go but doesn’t want to give up a Disney day! Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Understandable-your time their is limited. c

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ggstratton says:

    Good for yall😊

    Like

  4. We had a Wii system for about three years, but then got rid of it after my daughter got so involved with hip-hop dance. We don’t miss it at all! We do have cable with high-speed internet, but my work requires that. I don’t watch much except American Idol, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, The Blacklist, The Deadliest Catch, and local news on cable. OK maybe I do watch a lot, lol. But no, really it’s not that much total all week long. Probably 5 or 6 or so hours max a week and when some of those shows aren’t even airing in off season even way less. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      I do watch some television at night. I am watching Scandal right now but trying to savor it one show a night. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This would be my ideal – but my husband would probably move out! We have an older TV so I actually use the game system to stream netflix and watch DVDs. I used to limit my son’s gaming, but as he is an only child without extended family around and is pretty much lonely I have been more lenient and allow him to play. He actually saved his allowance and birthday money to buy an xbox and the minecraft game. He also connects to and talks to friends through the gaming system. I believe you are right that every family has to do what works for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A Kinder Way says:

    We were the odd ones out when we decided to homeschool. People just couldn’t understand why. We got a lot of criticism. When he was going into the 8th grade we switched to a virtual college prep academy. He graduated in the top 6% of his class so our choice paid off. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It’s all about what works for your family. My daughter went to public school, was homeschooled and started virtual school in 9th grade. It works for her, not my son. So they are following different paths.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A Kinder Way says:

        I think that’s wonderful. Every child is different and it’s great when people respect that. πŸ™‚

        Like

  7. As a pretty avid gamer myself, I found your article pretty compelling. Children, particularly those with different developmental needs, need that period of growth to acquire skills they need to be a part of their environment. Video games can get in the way when introduced to a child too early or as a replacement for other activities. Right now, my blog focuses mostly on criticism and analysis of video games, but I would like to branch out into the social aspects of gaming: having video games in a family setting, video game compulsions, its influence as an art form, etc.

    If you ever wanted to start introducing that stuff back into the house, I’ve heard of parents who make video gaming a family activity. Putting the console in the family room, talking about the game play, asking questions about the game, and sharing your thoughts are all ways to make an otherwise solitary experience more social. It’s ultimately up to you and your child, but that’s one place to start in case the thought was in the back of your mind. I’d like to hear more of your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! We have thought about introducing the games with very strong rules but as of right now my son is okay without them. The other thing is that we only have one television that gets no cable, satellite or local access. We may bridge that one first and then move into gaming.

      Like

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