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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. 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?