At first, they enjoyed video games and played them with enthusiasm, but found many other ways to occupy the majority of their time. But then we moved, and thanks to our current living situation, which involves the five of us living in the living room and one small bedroom of our house while we remodel, video games have become the go-to activity for my kids.
There simply isn’t enough space for them to play in the living room, since it houses our living room furniture as well as 75% of our dressers. The tiny bedroom is packed tightly with beds and more dressers, so play space is limited in there, as well. And don’t even get me started on the backyard, which is currently home to a pile of construction rubble and a felled loquat tree. I’m 99% sure that if we sent them outside to play, we’d never find them again. Also, concrete chunks and rusty nails are not the best toys for children. Apparently.
I keep reminding myself that this is only a stage, and that eventually they will have bedrooms with legos, puzzles, and board games, and things that aren’t just video games. Eventually we’ll have a backyard that will be home to ball games, sword fights and water activities, and not a breeding ground for tetanus infections and black widows.
But for now, the truth of our situation is that video games are part of our reality, and we have to make the best of it. My husband and I spend a lot of time working on our house, and the kids spend a lot of time playing virtual baseball, and tennis, and bowling, with an occasional SuperSmash Brothers brawl thrown in for good measure. I invested in some “fun” educational apps for the iPad, so even though they’re spending time playing video games, at least their little brains are being forced to think. We’ll spend as much time this summer as we can outside of the house, and at the park, the beach or visiting some of the sites our beautiful city has to offer.
I will let go of my guilt and remind myself that video games aren’t ruining my kid’s lives, and the work we are doing on our house will, eventually, be entirely worth it.
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