Kids in Balance
Kids in Balance
When it comes to being healthy, everything needs to be in balance – the physical, mental and spiritual. For us, moving to the country meant a healthier life– wide-open spaces, farm animals, gardens and other opportunities to have healthy food options, less distractions from technology and more time together as a family. Yet, even with our change in scenery, we have dealt with our own “out of balance” moments.
Our kids got their first gaming system seven years ago. They didn’t play it much. Three years ago, they graduated to a more “adult” gaming system. It required more oversight in terms of the time they spent playing and the game choices they made, but all the other kids had them.
Not vigilant enough
It snuck up on us and, honestly, we looked the other way. Gaming was the first thing they wanted to do on a Friday after school, and we thought it was because they didn’t get to play during the week. On and on they’d play into the wee hours of the morning. Soon, we didn’t know what games they were playing. In no way am I laying blame elsewhere: this was our fault.
The last straw
It was a great babysitter; the boys were quiet for hours on end, allowing us needed husband and wife time (remember the “balance” thing?). Arguments escalated about who had more screen time or whose turn it was to play, and we would temporarily end screen time. This past Saturday was gorgeous in Missouri, and it was a great day to take advantage of that country life. The sun was shining, and it was warm, so we said, “No gaming today. Go outside.” When I returned from the grocery store, the gaming system was gone, and they lied when asked about it. It was the last straw.
That day, the day the sun was bright and warm, the birds were chirping and playing in the front yard and our dogs were in the mood for play, I took the gaming system to our driveway and, in our sons’ presence, smashed it. Twice. A little aside: perhaps gaming isn’t a problem in your home. If not, I am happy for you. However, in our ongoing quest for a better, healthier life and finding “balance,” the gaming system simply
didn’t make sense anymore. The boys were:
Avoiding their chores and tasks (including homework)
Increasingly disrespectful to us
Having problems concentrating and paying attention
Getting more aggressive
Lacking normal social engagement
Becoming more and more sedentary