Video games are fun and cool when you’re young, but I got to a point in my life that video games became a fear of mine. When I had children, I developed this fear, a bit irrational perhaps, that if my children played video games, they would be living in my basement for the entirety of their lives. I imagine them sitting and looking at the screen and not showering for days on end. Meanwhile, I would be upstairs fuming because, “I never should have let that dang thing in the house in the first place.”
Two years ago, my brother-in-law approached me about doing a joint gift with my husband’s other brother and their parents for my kids and husband. They wanted to get a Nintendo Switch. After careful consideration, I gave him the green light. So, my husband and I set up some ground rules about the gaming system.
- Playing time only happens on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for an allotted period of time. The rest of the week, they have plenty of things to keep their attention.
- Games are subject to review. Now, this is not a huge deal right now because our oldest is six and can’t buy her own games. However, in the future, when our children can purchase their own games, we have the right of refusal in our home.
- If there’s fighting about playing a game or over a controller, you are finished playing. It is an expensive toy, and I am not replacing something you broke because you were fighting.
- The Nintendo Switch can be taken out of the dock and carried around. Because I have children with clumsy hands, it is only to be played on the carpet.
- Lastly, with all electronics that our kids use in the house, it must stay out of bedrooms. I don’t allow iPads or Kindles in their rooms unless there is special permission, same goes for the Switch.