We sold the Wii.
I originally bought the wii, on impulse, about two years ago. I had visions of playing it as a family, on my own and something for the kids to do as well. Noah and I played Mario often and so did Jason and I. Nora was young and never really had much interest in it except because Noah was playing. Over the last six months, what with having the baby and everything, we all lost interest in it, everyone except Noah.
“Can I play the Wii?” was a constant question from Noah, much like a crackhead needing his fix. During the school year he was only allowed to play on the weekends unless he got into trouble during the week. My thinking was that I could show Noah that video games are great in moderation in contrast to the way his father plays them (and sadly, the majority of my generation of males). When we moved to North Carolina the Wii wasn’t hooked up for a while, so Noah would play some old Playstation games every so often, but he mostly played outside. The Wii got hooked up about two weeks ago when our friends were in town to play their Country Dance and Smurfs Dance Party games. It was really fun! I thought about renting it after they left, but my time is limited. That is what I realized; if I only have 1-2 hours a day of personal time, I don’t want to spend it (by myself) on the Wii. There are so many other things I would rather be doing. Essentially, the Wii had become Noah’s. It had also become a point of contention in the household and was stifling Noah’s ability to play outside and use his imagination. “I’m bored” was a chant we heard if he wasn’t playing the Wii. The major push to get rid of it came when we noticed the difference in Noah’s attitude immediately following any amount of time on the Wii. Two hours was the max we would let him play it and we even tried a half hour with the same result. Attitude! Immediately after playing there was extreme whininess, fighting with Nora (above the normal amount), cockiness towards us, it all became too much!
We got rid of it last weekend and although I hated to do it because Noah LOVES it so much, I’m glad we did. This weekend Noah spent HOURS outside. He didn’t want to come in! He played all kinds of games with Nora; Army, farm, frisbee, you-name-it games. As a consequence we had gotten rid of all of the Playstation games a while back, so he was free of all video game temptations and we had a lovely weekend.
Doing all of this research on child development as well as homeschooling and Waldorf education has brought me to the realization that the best thing I can do for Noah is to NOT have video games in the house. It is better that he learn how to live without them than with them. He has a computer which he plays learning games on, but no internet connection. We are the weird parents that signed “no” to the permission form that would allow him to peruse the internet at school. But what about how the internet has taken over our world and how he won’t be able to navigate it? I would much rather he learned life skills than technical skills and since his brain is still developing and I’ve yet to read one benefit of video games on the growing mind, I think we’ll stick to playing outside. But, that’s just us. :o)