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Ex game-cop mom

Are you a game-cop mom?  

I was…

I hated that job. I was always having to enforce the game rules at our house and no one was happy. It seemed that I was always ‘blowing the whistle’ on too much gaming, not obeying limits and bad attitudes. It was a very unpopular full-time job, 24/7, and everyone thought I was mean and unreasonable. I didn’t mind that so much, but I was not good at my job of gaming cop mom. I failed. It was very challenging and I was not prepared. One day it hit me: I could retire from my position.

I learned that gaming was a real addiction and that gaming was not good for a young boy’s brain development as dopamine and other brain chemicals are released when they play causing them to crave it more.  I learned about the lure of gaming and about the physical, emotional and spiritual costs. I also learned that it was my responsibility to provide the structure my children needed to develop childhood activities for healthy growth and development….gaming was not working in our house. So I took off my ‘game cop mom’ hat and I didn’t just hang it up, I threw it away! I pulled the plug on our games that day too.

I have been on a long journey and I have come back to tell you what happened along the way and why we are choosing a different path for our younger twin boys. We are game-free now and we are loving it! What that means is that video games img_7747_thumb.jpgare not part of my kids ‘to do’ list and we don’t allow video games to be played in our home. We are not legalistic about it and if they want to play at their friend’s house or dentist office that is fine, we simply don’t have them in our home or allow online play on our computers. We do enjoy technology and all the wonderful innovations it brings. We have TVs and laptops and iPhones and I love learning all the new technology (all except for the new TV remote of course!). But I can’t manage the conflict that gaming brings and I am happy to share with you that my kids are thriving without the game. They did not shrivel up and die. They are not strange and they are not weird! They are in fact very social and well-rounded. And they are loud and fast and they sometime smell! They are outside a lot and they have discovered many things that they would have missed if they traded their prime play time for gaming.  And, by the way, it is a trade. Gaming does replace very important childhood activities.

Mom, follow your instincts and listen to your gut feelings. Protect your child’s childhood. If you think your son may have a problem with technology or gaming, he probably does.

I will share some of my mistakes over the next posts. I hope to be an encouragement to other moms who wish to also retire from their job as game cop mom!

Melanie Hempe

Ex Game-Cop-mom!