Those video games will rot your brain!
July 5, 2012 10:14 AM Subscribe
My 7 year old son has misplaced his imagination. Please help me help him find it again...
posted by youandiandaflame to grab bag (35 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I am the mother of a 7 year old boy. He is an only child and I am a single mother. 2 years ago this kid had the imagination of Dr Seuss, I swear, but after a couple years of video games, he's turned into a 30 year old dude in his mother's basement with headphones on and the latest copy of WoW (no offense WoW lovers!).
I know I've played a part in this. I work 8 hours a day and then come home to a computer at which I sit and work another couple hours and by that time at night, it's just easier to sit next to him on the couch and do personal stuff on my laptop while he engages his video games. I've slacked and didn't see this creeping up but recently have realized this is a serious issue, the time that both of us spend on electronic devices, and I've been working to quell how much we both use these things. Thing is, it's very obvious that he's forgotten how to play alone.
How do I go about getting him back to that place? We've talked about it and he realizes too that this is unhealthy -- we've decided that we're going to ween ourselves off our electronics. I get an hour a day on my computer and he gets an hour on his DS (his preferred electronic device). But when it comes down to filling the rest of his day at home with other activities, the poor kid really is at a loss. He used to build Lego structures in his room for hours, now he is bothered by more than 10 minutes of that and gets frustrated. He used to draw, write stories, read books, and now he's just totally over that. He'd rather hear a story through his Monster Truck game. As for me, I'm no help. I try to be encouraging but watching him flail about whilst unsuccessfully trying to use his brain is something I can't comprehend. In the absence of my computer, I'll read. I'll doodle and craft. I've tried to engage him in these things with me but it's just not flying. He's not being a brat, really, he just needs to relearn how to entertain himself and I want to help him.
Do I keep pushing these things and eventually he'll find that nice spot in his head where he can sit alone for hours? Do I buy a damn book full of activities to keep his brain active? What's a reasonable amount of time to allow for electronic based activities for a 7 year old daily anyway?
This kid is extremely creative and draws some serious self-esteem from that fact and I see it dying in front of me and feel helpless. I've always pushed creativity in the house and now I've contributed to it not having enough air to breathe and I'd like to fix that. Any suggestions?
(Also of note: We live in the Midwest and just shoving him out the door and letting him find a butterfly to investigate is no longer an option like it was this spring. It's so damn hot his brain would literally melt so outdoors suggestions, if you had one, might not work.)