Back when I worked in the military and in law enforcement, we talked about “mission creep.” You’ve got a job to do, and slowly, but surely, people keep adding on to your job until you’re so swamped with ancillary stuff, you can hardly get your real job done. You forget what you’re supposed to be doing.
We have had a similar experience in my house, except the creep came with video games. It started out simple… some Wii Sports, Lego Star Wars, and some other fairly innocent games, in limited amounts, only on certain days. Somehow, over the course of the year, my son has moved all the way in to playing games like “Thief,” “Call of Duty,” and “Titan Fall.” Totally, completely inappropriate for an eight year old, yet, it happened, under my watch.
It all came to a big, ugly head this weekend, resulting in a total RESET. In fact, we had to swing so far that the child lost ALL gaming privileges for an entire month, and when we “reset” after that, we’ll be back at games appropriate for an eight year old, not an eighteen year old.
It’s been building up for awhile. I take a lot of the blame. In my business over finishing and publishing our book: Lose the Cape: Realities from the Busy Modern Mom and Strategies to Survive (yes, I see the irony – my cape has been gone a long time!) – things may have gotten a little “looser” around our house. Including supervision over the games.
Little by little, I’ve noticed behavioral issues. A total disrespect for other people’s property, an unwillingness to follow directions, and a severe increase in the child’s ADHD symptoms, even with medication. This weekend, the proverbial straw broke that camel’s back.
First, Friday evening as I stood enjoying the nice evening while the kids swung on the swing set, I heard Bug say to his five year old sister Jelly Bean, “I’m gonna cut your face off and then I’m gonna kill you.”
The record player screeched to a stop.
I could not believe what I was hearing. His response: “Jelly Bean tells me she’s going to kill me!”
Well who do you think they learned it from?? I’m fairly certain Daniel the Tiger and The Backyardigans did not teach them this.
So, my husband and I agreed – the games had to stop. We dealt with this and moved on.
Oh but the fun didn’t stop there. My son and his cousin, while enacting their own neighborhood version of Call of Duty, DREW out their WAR PLANS in chalk on the side of the neighbor’s brick house. (I’m seeing red again!) So, after Jelly Bean’s dance recital, the boys got to scrub the side of the house, with a very able supervisor.
[Tweet “When I saw the boys drawing their warplans on the neighbor’s house, I knew we needed a total reset. via @katbiggie”]
And as if that wasn’t enough…
well, suffice it to say, there was a whole lot of misuse and disrespect of daddy’s tools and stuff in the garage, that sent daddy over the edge. Total reset was put in motion.
No gaming for a month – no toys or friends – indef.
Today we play.
Like an eight year old should.
Outside. No electronics.
Have you ever had a moment in child rearing where you just realized you have messed up and need to reset?
0 thoughts on “Total Reset Required”
I truly think you did the right thing now resetting all and I am really not sure how I would have reacted to all of the above, but do think I would have done similar banning the games altogether to rethink which games if any in in the end were appropriate.
It’s kind of mind blowing when you realize you’ve let your child get out of control. 🙁 Just glad we still have time to fix it!
Oh good for YOU for pushing that RESET button!! This fascinates me… because you described exactly what happens when kids are exposed to that kind of violence-
I had that AHA moment, realizing that THIS is why kids are a freaking aggressive violent mess these days!! They play these video games, watch traumatically violent movies- it’s no wonder.
It’s refreshing and just awesome to see a parent take control and do something about it. I wish we had more parents who were that aware and invested to do the same!!
Thanks Chris, I just wish it hadn’t gotten so far out of control first!
Just want to say how much I respect you for taking responsibility and owning this. So many parents have problem children because they didn’t reset when they had the chance. I’m having a baby (who I call Jellybean lol!) and as much as I believe in discipline I am also seeing how easy it is to turn a blind eye and not deal with things because you love them and want them to be happy but it’s good to see that even if things slip you can reset and start again.
The truth is, often it’s easier to just let it go on… but it’s only easier for the moment. It just gets worse if you don’t stop and do something. Parenting is hard. Discipline is hard. But we can do it! Good luck with your JellyBean!
I sometimes think there will be a big fight if I suggest we turn off the TV and go play but my kids are more than okay with it, even though they love to watch shows.
I know, isn’t it crazy? They just love to play – but they want attention. My kids have great imaginations, they just need to be reminded to use them! Thanks for commenting!
Glad to see that there are other parents setting limits on the games. My kids get 2 hours on Friday evenings on the computer (mostly minecraft and a few other age appropriate games) and then they can earn a couple more hours over the weekend, but no time during the week. The other day my 6 year old sat me down for a frank conversation about how all his friends parents were nicer than me – when I asked why, he said that it was because they got unlimited computer/video game time and I didn’t let him have much at all. I told him I was ok with this and his opinion and I wasn’t changing our rules, but I still felt like the mean mom.
Oh my goodness! Six year olds and what they say! I am like you – no game time on school days, just Friday and the weekends, but not for a month. I often feel like a mean mom, but I wasn’t put here to be their friend, right? You’re doing awesome!
Good for you! I often feel like I need to set the reset button on the amount of TV I let my kids watch. Today, my oldest asked to watch a movie, and when I said no, he said, “Well, I know how to use the remote, so I’m going to turn it on myself.” Oh no. Heck no. I was definitely the mean mom today. Tomorrow, we’ll see. 😉
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