CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

8/14/09

RANT!! VIDEO GAME MOMS! HIDE NO MORE!

I must first say that this is my blog, a diary of sorts, and I post my feelings plainly. THIS IS A LOOOOONNNNGGG RANT!

Please be warned because I am really annoyed at this present time.

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This is for all the moms out there who embrace video games for their children; For all of those women hiding in the shadows afraid to speak up; For Women Who Have to explain and defend their parenting to those who devalue our choice to embrace the games for your children.

BE NOT AFRAID!! THERE ARE OTHER WONDERFUL PARENTS JUST LIKE YOU! :-)
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Most parents want what is best for their children. Most parents really do.
But more and more I'm finding that some parents, usually "newish" parents, want to jump on some sort of crazy bandwagon to tout their notions about parenting so that "the rest of the parents" will oooo and aahhh over their wizened choices.

How annoying!

Most of the time, I've noticed, those parents are the ones who are imposing some sort of limitation on their children, for no good reason other than, Because They Can or Fear or Because they've heard it is the right thing to do.

That, to me, is ignorance in action.

I was reading some posts recently, on a nationwide group site, that really irritated the snot out of me. A mother of 2 sons, ages 8 and 4, stated proudly that video games are off limits in their home and that she only allows 30 minutes of computer time in their home per day. She whipped out the name of some book as her valuable tool of knowledge. There were all sorts of positive replies from other mothers of young children stating they too will have none of that "non-sense" in their homes.

I suppose, since I've actually had experience raising children past the age of 8 years old, that I have some sort of "Hindsight is 20/20" perspective, but that doesn't make the imbecilic posts any less abrasive.

As my heart began to beat faster and I relied on my breathing to lower my blood pressure, I had to ask myself, "Shelly, why are you so very upset about this?"

I mean I am mad! I don't get bothered about other parenting styles very often, so why is this an issue of such importance to me? Let me tell you, I could have just jumped through the screen to slap some sense into these women.

I think it was the tone. I could just see their snotty little blond tipped heads as they implied that "those" parents who let their children play video games day in and day out are ignorant, uninformed and allowing their children to become fat, addicted, dead heads.

I'm nearly positive that if one of my children were to go over to their home and begin talking about playing his latest game, that those parents would look over at their spouse with an all knowing glance as if to say,
"That child is one of "those" kids. I can't wait to tell Marsha at the next PTO meeting."

Well, you know what?  I'm sick and tired of listening to this crap! These are MY children they are referring to in their posts!

I'm Creating My Own Bandwagon....one with some experience behind it.

(Disclaimer To my good friends who limit video games. I am speaking to those judgmental little snots of parents who have that better than thou, condescending tone. I am going to rant at them. Please know I am very judgmental in this rant because I feel the need to respond or I'm going to explode. The post I tried to send on that site was denied. All they were allowing through were the "against gaming" comments soooo...Please take this as the rant it is intended to be. However, if you also believe I am a bad parents for allowing video gaming to ad nauseum at our home, I'm sorry to say that this is also directed toward your views also. Hey! Turn about is fair play! :o)

Now look, I understand that, in today's world, when they say their children are computer free and video game free it somehow makes that mother feel like she has jumped onto the "I'm raising my kids the right way" band wagon. They've probably bought into the myth that video games make kids fat or that they have too many blinking lights that cause ADD or whatever the case may be. Too bad they won't read the facts! Or look at the picture of the TOP video gamers in the world. Guess what, they're THIN! (that's Walshy and his crew)

Maybe they want accolades from others or whatever, but this sort of self indulgent thinking can really inhibit their children from achieving their full potential in our modern world.

"Modern World" I know that is a buzz word. Some parents want to shelter their children from the Modern World. They want to keep them held back to the time of horse and buggy when civilization was simpler or they at least want to hold their children back to the days of Pacman so they, as parents, can actually understand the games. However, unless they are planning to raise them in a commune or as an Amish person they are sorely kidding themselves.


Let's give up the fantasy, shall we? Our child will grow up very soon and probably need to work in this modern world. I don't care how many gardens we plant or how well we teach them to recycle and can foods, they'll still need to live in the modern world so give up the "no technology" fantasy. Wake up! We aren't raising children we are raising adults!

Now, if these "No Gaming Technology" type mothers haven't been duped into thinking that games make kids fat or ill, then they must just get a sick thrill out of enforcing rules that limit their children. Maybe they just want to "show them who's boss." They must just get a kick out of announcing that power to others and generating moot discussions about the right way to raise children. Yes "moot" because they are usually speaking with like minded parents who will give them all sorts of validation.

I, however, (in my most self affirming, prideful voice) do not like to limit, inhibit, or deny my children their full potential in any way. I don't like to jump on bandwagons. Knee jerk reactions can cause harm. Give me facts...Thank You Very Much!

I try to limit my children only when they are indeed in danger. Like say, ohh...geeze...what do I limit? Ummm... well...

Okay..I just asked Kazz because I couldn't think of any limitations I impose on my children.

He came up with three.

1. I wouldn't allow Kazz, at ages 14-16, to be alone with girls. Reason: Self Explanatory

2. I won't let our boys ride around the neighborhood will- nilly. They have to tell me right where they are going and then come right back. Reason: Predators, Rule #1, and we live in Detroit for crying out loud!

3. I don't allow disrespect to me, to other adults or toward anyone. No eye rolling, backtalk or sighing in disgust. Reason: People who are a respectful command respect in return. This translates into happier marriages and better boss/employee relationships. Win/Win situations.

When I'm not limiting my children's world I am challenging conventional wisdom. I have a hard time following dogmatic parenting or rigid parenting styles. One thing in particular that really gives me that prickly sensation on the back of my neck is hearing popular parenting myths propagated as fact and witnessing the, "you are absolutely right" affirming responses when they don't know what the heck they are talking about!

So when I read all the posts from parents who deny their children technology, not only did that familiar prickly sensation arise but I was overcome with an understanding that these well meaning (hopefully) parents were limiting their children's potential...Period.

"Why in the world would a parent WANT to limit learning experiences for their children?!" I ask.

"Learning?" you say with an eye rolling laugh. "Well, they will just have to learn outside! You're limiting them by allowing them to play games all day!" you say.

Guess what... You're not only assuming that video games are bad or hurtful you have gone the extra mile to Deny, Preach, Restrict and Curb a wonderful blessing your children could be using as part of their growth and development.

"We have enough books to off-set that situation!" You say
Guess what...Books are NOT the best way to learn anymore. Are they fun? Yes, for some people. But are they better? No! Textbooks are borrrinnnng! I dare say that they are one of the main reasons why Public Education is failing. The "time tested" textbook system has failed and in this era, they are nice to have, but not what it takes to succeed in the technological world.

"Oh you are wrong! It's because of those stupid games that books are dying out!" You say?

Yes, technology is pushing out the textbook. Laptops and Kindle are taking over. That only strengthens my argument! What's the first thing college students do these days when taking a new course? They go to the first class to see if they need to buy the book! And what's more,
the first thing most people do when they want to find the answer to a burning question is look it up....on the INTERNET!

Technology is here to stay, just like Rock and Roll. Get used to it or become one of those frumpy old farts from the "Ban Rock and Roll" era. That, my friend, is how your children will remember you if you don't stop this nonsense now.



If you truly want your children to grow into well rounded adults who are FULLY capable in the world they must live in, then teach them to garden, read, recycle, build a clubhouse AND type, use computer programs, look up things on the Internet and PLAY with technology. Let them PLAY!!

Video Gaming is a valuable tool for learning. Limiting video games and computer time ranks right up there with the book burnings of years ago! These limiters, these parents, are book burning!

If you want to give them knowledge, buy them a computer! Buy them Video Games systems!

Limit, Restrict, Reduce, Censor, Deny...These are words that those mothers are PROUD to say!

Good Grief!

I've had some experience with Video games and television and music and cell phones.
We have PlayStation 1 and PlayStation2. We have the X-box and the X-box 360. Every one of our children have their own computer. We also have 4 cell phones, and 4 televisions.
Excess? Is it excess when schools buy new books, computers, games? Is it excess when a homeschooling parent buys new curriculum every year or $50 worth of books every month from Amazon or eBay? We're homeschoolers! These are learning tools!

Instead of buying curriculum to death, we buy technology that actually works and gives us ALL of those books and more!

If children are not learning to type, use computer programs and understand technology, THEY ARE BEHIND and will have a TOUGH time finding a job when they are adults!! Used vehicles, an affordable home and budgeting have allowed us to offer these tools to our children. We are very blessed to have them.

Count how many years it will be before your children turn 16 years old. That is how long you have to teach them to use technology before they get a job at McDonalds and have to use the screen to take orders. If they get a better job, the will need better skills.

Technology is not to be limited to help children...It is to be USED to help them! Video games and computers are wonderful learning instruments that enhance our children's lives and BETTER prepare them for the future they HAVE to live!

Yes, it is true. My husband and I have allowed our children to experience technology, unhindered by time restrictions. THIS is our blessing to them.

Yes my friend! I am NOT AFRAID TO LET THEM PLAY!

I see my children sitting for days on end trying to master a portion of a game. I see them, with their red eyes, studying the game, planning strategies, sitting, scrutinizing, sometimes day after day until the task has been accomplished.

Brian and I encourage it!

"Why your children must be stupid, slackers who are fat and ignorant." You say.

Why my children are physically active, well rounded, intelligent, social, laughing, joke telling, fun loving little rascals. I have football playing, foil fencing, Science loving, friend hanging out with, tree climbing, 8 hour a day video playing boys in our home. When Kazz was 14 year old he probably played video games and computer games more than that!

"They're damaged and you don't even know it!" you say.

Kazz, the hours on end video gamer, just turned 17 this month. He will graduate from college with an Associate of Business degree this year. He has a 3.4 gpa, has been on the Dean's list and still "plays" video games and is on his laptop hours and hours a day.

Our 12 year old learned to read playing video games. He learned to type so he could play online. He's also well on his way to going to college at the age of fourteen.

Our 9 year old largely learned to read and type playing video games also. He can tell the best stories and communicate beyond belief.

They also happen to be the best front flipping, back flipping, trampoline crazy antics initiators on the planet.

"Why they will become recluses!" You say.

There have been upwards of 10 children, teens, and adults alike in our backyard playing video games on our back porch. If anything video games promote sharing, friendships and bonding.

Video game playing has introduced our children to computer technology. Technology that is here to stay. Video Games have introduced and given our children practice in following directions. They have learned how to scrutinize and practice problem solving and logic. Games have also given our children practice in the use of their fine motor and spatial skills. They have, very often been quite a fun tool for Brian and I to bond and play with our children also.


I will not jump on that video game denying band wagon.
I will not be a part of information denial.
I will not impose restrictions on my children's interests.
I will allow them to grow, learn, experience and have a great deal of fun while achieving those goals.
I will allow them to learn!

LEARN I SAY!

Oh and I forgot one important thing about games, they are also entertaining and fun!

"BUT they need to develop their imagination! The only way to do that is through playing outside and working and chores. The old fashioned, no electricity kind of way."

As I count the many stories my children have written about games, characters and strategy, it is hard for me to even give that line of thought a moment of my time. I've witnessed backyard plays that were excellently organized to the fullest extent because of ideas fostered from video games.

Old fashioned? Yes, outdoor fun is wonderful. Climbing trees, planting gardens and reading books have a wonderful place in our lives. Here's the rub, I can't remember the last time some parent announced proudly that they are limiting the time their children are allowed to learn, experience, imagine, investigate, interpret and consider....

Oh Wait! THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE SAYING WHEN THEY LIMIT TECHNOLOGY!

Can we just get over the limiting of technology time to our children and include it instead? Let's just "jump ahead"...to the present day please....if for no other reason than I Just Can't Stand To Hear the ridiculous, unproven, CONDESCENDING, ignorance anymore.

I AM NOT AFRAID!

I AM A GOOD PARENT!!

I AM A GREAT PARENT!!!

MY CHILDREN ARE INTELLIGENT, NORMAL, INQUISITIVE, VIDEO GAME LOVING KIDS!

I WILL NOT BOW TO THE CONFORMING "WISDOM" THAT SATURATES THE HERE AND NOW.

I'LL WRAP MY ARMS
AROUND THE FUTURE, GIVE IT A BIG HUG AND SAY...

PLAY ON BOYS! PLAY ON!

(Stumbling off my rant box...shewww I feel better)

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17 comments:

Scrapingirl said...

My eyes are bleeding from all that reading!! lol Thanks for the disclaimer. :) They never even ask for it anymore. They think the wii is just for my Active. lol

The Mom With Brownies said...

You've never even mentioned our gaming lifestyle so I know you are like, 'whatever floats your boat' but those other women on that homeschooling boys yahoo group ticked me right off. I am more than a little annoyed by the condescending remarks. Can you tell? LOL This has been a post in the making for quite some time.

I'm surprised you read it all! I was on a roll and couldn't stop. I may just have to write a book. :o)

Julie said...

Bravo, thank you so much for speaking up for us parents who are okay with our kids being video and computer nerds! lol

Julie said...

I want to add, by the way I am a proud mother of THE Guitar Hero Champion 2008, my son won 2 years ago, hasnt been beaten yet. He is 10, he 2nd in his classroom (A+ students, he is well liked by just about everyone and loved by his mom who doesnt mind when he wants 'to play to the next level'!)
(thanks for letting me brag):)

EmilyKlakulak said...

Interesting stuff. Lots of things to chew on.

My kids are younger (6 and 4) so maybe some of this doesnt apply to them.

You make a lot of good points.

Our problems with video games are the boredom that it tends to breed. Suddenly, legos are boring. Even playing at the park is boring! Everything is boring exept video games. How does one not limit, and yet not let it get excessive at the same time?

The Mom With Brownies said...

Hi Emily, :o)

As with any toy or new activity it will become excessive at times. What I try to do is make mental notes about how many days it takes for our son(s) to master the task he has laid out before him. I make sure I know what he's trying to accomplish and then assess how long that should take.

"Mom, I want to get to level 25 to beat the master chief and become ruler over the Kingdom"

"Okay, does this game have a pause button? Do you have to get to a certain spot before you can save the game? How long do you expect it to take to get to the 25th level?"

After I know the answers, I can parent better. If dinner is about ready and I know they can't pause the game, I try to make sure I announce that they have to save the game within the next 15 minutes.

If it takes 4 hours to get to level 4 then I schedule game time around our other activities. The older boy can play a lot on weekends.

We also have family meetings each week to let everyone know what is going on with the family calendar. That way they aren't shocked when they have to go to Aunt Bonnie's house on Tuesday instead of beat the next level.

Also, If I can, I play with them! LOL Eventually, the game gets old and if we plan well, they get interested in outdoor things or other activities along with their gaming. I've found that to be the case with all the boys so far...though Brian and I work hard to give them lots of opportunities to try new things. Lazer tag is one of them! FUN!! :o)

Jennifer said...

We hear ya! We play right along with our kids and don't believe there is a problem with it AT ALL! Video games are really great for family play and I like to play WOW by myself.

By the way, there are a lot of us gamer moms out there. I started a group last year so we could connect: http://www.gamermomsclub.com

cheaptaste said...

After reading this, I let my four year old son play on the computer for the first time. I had never imagined that he would be old enough to control the mouse and figure out how to navigate from game to game. He now can't get enough of playing on Mr. Rogers' website. He goes from coloring to opening alphabet doors to watching videos and has super control of the mouse. Thanks for making me feel ok about letting him play with technology.

Mrs. C said...

ME LOVE IT!

Had to put a little Cookie Monster grammar in there. :] You've inspired my latest blog post! Thanks for a great read!

Virginia (Jenny) said...

I have a 9,8,6,4,2 year old. I've been through the whole video game frenzy. I've had the Wii and the Gamecube. Guitar Hero. Tons of games. This is what happened to my family. Like Emily said, everything else was boring. They didn't want to do anything which you can imagine made homeschooling very hard for me. Come dinner time, the zombies would all come and couldn't talk about anything else. I actually love games myself! Games are so much fun and I was so sad to sell the game systems. But what I saw in the last few years happen to my kids, was enough to scare me for some time. Without games, my kids play together, play swords, Legos, read books, play with puzzles, ride their bikes. With games, there is lots of arguing. Who's turn is it? Etc. They turned against each other. So I'm not the snotty blonde hair mom you speak of. I'm actually a gamer myself. I was. :) But the affects are just too much for me, for my family. I was raise without games, even a TV, and I grew up just fine. Loving life couldn't have it any better. I'm a technoligy freak for sure and my kids will have fun on the computer (with Safe Eyes installed) but it won't be with regular PC games.

I wrote about this subject today on my blog before I found yours. By the way, I don't look down on moms who's kids have games. Trust me, my kids loove going to their friend's houses to play games all day. Or to Gameworks at the mall. That's how we keep it for fun and at bay rather than be completely immersed in it.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I am the mother of six. They all play on the computer and video games, except the baby who is only 7 months old. Even the two year old uses the mouse the play games on the computer! It's amazing.

Well, they take after their father who loves video and computer games more than they do! I bought him an xbox for Father's Day a few years ago.

I guess I figure they need to be well-rounded. I'd be concerned if they were obssessed with anything--even book reading. Video games fit in with out "everything-in-moderation" lifestyle.

cloakedbook said...

Well, Shelly, I know this has been a long time comming, and glad that you got it off of your chest. ou know I don't care, we don't agree on this issue, but you are an excellent mom, so...nuff said on THAT subject. I do, however think that there are some variabels in this rant that each person has to take into consideration. Most of my kids would be fine if I let them play as much, or whenever they wanted to, but my oldest son gets SCARY. He gets mean and abusive toward his siblings when he plays and this winter when I sort of let things go, it was frightening to watch the transformation. It was like I had Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde, and frankly watching my loving son with a truely servants heart become a beast made restrictions and limits nessary. I hope it isn't always that way, but thereit is for now...just putting in my 2 cents...like always..

Clicker said...

You said it great! I agree with what you said especially the #3 of what you except from your boys. I'm trying! !

Great blog.

Find me at http://maggie.coffeeshopmafia.com

Dan River Mama said...

I loved this post! I feel the same way, and then some. lol

cre82learn said...

Great post from a side that needs to speak out a little more. Honestly, my boys play more often than I like but I think balance is the key to everything. Both of my sons decided they wanted to learn to read when I became "too busy" to read online instructions for games. Video games inspired them to read and also spell better. Can't complain too much about that! Now if my husband would learn a little more balance!!!!

me said...

WOW! Someone who homeschools their kids AND allows them to play on the computer or DS or PS2...JUST LIKE I DO!!! Kiddo has rules to follow of course - school work done, chores done THEN he can play all day if he wants. Somedays he's playing for 5-6 hours but other days he will start a game, play for fifteen minutes then come into the kitchen and grab a book from the shelf and go off into his room and start to read.

I have taken the same slack from the homeschool group here. But then, we are a Christian homeschooling group (we are Christian, we are raising our son Christian) and I take slack for not using particular Christian curriculum that most of the group uses and as such and "depriving my son of a decent Christian upbringing". I am also chastised for having pulled him out of school for NON religious reasons.

So the way I see it, I'm never going to win with this group so why bother trying? I just tell them "Thanks for your opinion" and leave it be.

But sometimes a person does need a darned good rant to 'free it all' and move on! Thanks so much!!!

Dawn said...

Thanks for posting this. I don't allow my girls to play video games (they're 4 and 2) and never planned to. I don't know if all the hype about it being bad for kids is true, but I figured if I allowed it, it would take time away from activities that I'd rather they be doing. The idea that video games may actually be beneficial is something I haven't even considered, so I am glad that you brought this new perspective to my attention and I am certainly considering incorporating technology into our homeschool in the future.