Melissa Kirk has graced us with an editorial regarding her feelings as the mom of a gaming family. Take it away, Melissa!
As the parent, I know that itâ€™s important to monitor the video games that my children play. Read the labels, the parental warnings, foul language, sexual situations, blah, blah, blah.
I am not that parent.
My eldest is 13 and a video game addict. His life revolves around gaming. Iâ€™m serious. When he turned 10, I got him a Wii, something he had asked for all year. He was excited, as well as the 16 boys that consisted of his sleepover. How excited were they, you ask? They literally stayed up all night playing that video game. At 7am I went downstairs to see 14 little red eyed 10 year olds (and 2 sleeping 6 year olds) huddled around the TV. Most recently, I was made aware of a 24 hour online battle for Call of Â Duty: Black Ops (Nuketown 24/7, I believe itâ€™s called) that he stayed up to play. But I digress.
Iâ€™m not saying Iâ€™m the kind of parent where my kids run the household and I just smile and say â€śoh, you know how kids are!â€ť. HELL. NO. I just donâ€™t run my home like Nazi Germany. I let my son play what he wants, Â within reason. For instance, I REFUSE to let him play any Grand Theft Auto, however; If I want him to learn about stealing cars and robbing prostitutes Iâ€™ll take him around our neighborhood. I just think that game is horrible for anyone under the age of 30. There are rules – Homework to be done, room clean, etc. But for the most part, heâ€™s free to play what he wants. On vacation days and weekends, he can plant in front of the game for 24 hours. I just occasionally stick a mirror under his nose to make sure heâ€™s still breathing and stick plates of food in front of him.
Some might say Iâ€™m a cool mom, or that Iâ€™m the worst parent ever; but hey – itâ€™s my kid, my house, my power, my rules. I let my kids play what they want, because they have to experience that stuff at some time. I would rather they play that stuff with me so I can explain what it is (i.e. â€śTeabaggingâ€ť) than some weirdo on the street. Â I can monitor whatâ€™s going on in the game, and how they are acting/reacting to it (did he really just Brogue Kick the cat?). So Iâ€™ll monitor my way, thank you.
Now slide over kid, and hand me that controller and let mama show you how to rescue princess Zelda.