Saturday, February 23, 2008

Yes, the PS2 IS Your New Mommy!

Confession: I have been letting Patrick play A LOT of PS2. What else is there to do?! There's ice everywhere, and frankly my brain is mush from dealing with all this house stuff. So, I would say for the past three days, the boy has spent about five hours a day playing.

Before you all throw things at your computer screens, there is almost always someone playing with him. DH and I love to play almost as much as he does, and we got the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game the other day, which is super-fun. Frankly, I would play all day too, if I could.

I don't know why I feel so defensive about it. The boy has been reading fluently for months, and can do simple math, both of which I honestly feel were encouraged by the gaming, since before he could do those things he was desperate to know what the words on the screen said and how many more apples he needed to get to win the prize. It's helped him learn to take turns, since many games are one-player, and he willingly passes off the controller after two tries at any one thing. His hand-eye coordination is excellent, and his problem-solving skills are good, too. We have no violent games. He's rarely in there alone playing, but at least when he is I know exactly what he's doing while I'm in the shower/on the phone/cleaning up dog poop outside. And of course, we do other things every day as well, like read books and play board games and go out.

I know there are a lot of people out there who turn their noses up at video games, especially for children. They're the same people who claim not to watch TV, like they're too good for Discovery Channel or the weekly dose of The Soup.

I think it's the whole Parenting As A Competitive Sport thing that makes me defensive.
'My McKenzie has never SEEN a TV!'
'Oh, little Olivia is too busy with gymnastics/ballet/quantum physics to condescend to electronic stimulation.'

What can I say? Well, I could say, stick my controller where the sun don't shine, but I'm probably going to need it later.


Swistle said...

I KNOW! I totally agree: (1) that TV and video games are not The Devil, and (2) that I get sick of hearing about how such and such a child is pure and free of the trappings of our evil electronic culture. Bully for them!

My parents were anti-TV and anti-game, and BOY I was not appreciative when it turned out I didn't fit with my peers AT ALL. THANKS, mom and dad, for making me a SOCIAL PARIAH. That was TOTALLY WORTH your bragging rights!

desperate housewife said...

I always feel defensive about how much time Addy spends watching movies. But DUDE. It's WINTER. And I am a mommy, not a preschooler teacher being paid to entertain her 24/7. I play with her until I feel my brain cells dripping out my ears, and then it's blogging time for me, to preserve the sanity!

samantha said...

I'm here fron Swistle!

I'm glad she pointed you out, because I'm on bed rest and need something new to read :-)

Karly said...

Well, thank God I'm not the only mom out there who lets the playstation babysit the child. Although, lately, my son has moved on to playing computer games all hours of the day and so I can feel better about that, because computer = smart. At least it does in my mind.

Kelsey said...

I am also on bed rest and also over from Swistle. My daughter, age three, watches a lot of PBS and videos. Probably more than she should, but she's a good kid - creative and smart, and I really don't think it's doing her much harm. It is one of those issues where I kind of feel like each family has to make their own decision and leave everyone else alone about it already!

Jen said...

from swistle too - hi!

i'm in the same boat only ps2=noggin. i feel all extra double guilty because i work and the weekends are my mommy-intensive time but still, i have to shower and Get Stuff Done she loves that moose! :)

Astarte said...

Oh, I'm glad that other people feel the same way! Patrick goes to a Montissori prek, and some of the parents there probably burned their TV long ago and live in organic grass huts or something. A few parents have acted shocked that he can play, and make Those comments about it. Pttthhhhhh.