The Parental Viewpoint

Usually in our blog we have some cool new things to talk about regarding the Xbox gaming systems.  From new controllers, to Xbox360 vs. XboxOne we have the dish on everything.  However we have decided to go a different route today and share with you a guest post from the mother of an extreme gamer.  A middle school 12 year old who loves his Xbox and Xbox live.  What is the gaming world like from the parents point of view? Welcome Sophia…..

My 12 year old son is addicted to his Xbox..but I don’t necessarily think it’s a completely bad thing!  Let me explain… It’s started as a reward for doing well in school and keeping his grades up.  My husband and I decided after struggling with our son to get his homework done we needed another avenue then just getting upset and taking privileges away.  We needed something exciting and positive for him to look forward to.  Introduce our offer of buying him the Xbox 360 that all the kids were talking about.  In order for him to get it he had to keep his grades to a’s and B’s.  he had to do his homework every night and have no excuses of I forgot it at school.  If he could keep this up for the entire quarter he would get his new Xbox.  He was ecstatic and tried his hardest and succeeded.  He had a Wii and a Playstation, but the Xbox was different.  It was the coveted of all gaming systems.  After getting the Xbox 360 he continued to do well in school otherwise risk losing valuable playing time with his friends.  Next though he needed to stay caught up on his chores.  He is a lazy one if you don’t get him up and moving when it comes to helping with the pets and around the house. Next deal was do your chores every week throughout the month and you can have a monthly subscription to Xbox Live.  This was even better in our sons eyes.  Now he could consistently play with his friends and chat with them too!  Slowly after the Xbox One came out his friends started to upgrade to this new gaming system.  In order to play on Xbox live you need to have the same gaming system to interact.  This was his new coveted need to have gaming system.  Again in order to be able to get it he needed to work towards it.  And being the determined child he his he once again succeeded.

While I agree that too much time on gaming equipment or technology in general is not good for kids or any of us for that matter, I do think it opens up a window of communication especially when kids can’t go over to their friends house or bored at home.  When the game MineCraft came out I was especially happy because it encourages kids to use their imaginations and build things they are proud of.  My son and his friends built towns and designed their own houses and farms.  They made a treasure map hunt and aspired with their friends to build cool things.  I do agree that some of the games out there such as Grand Theft Auto are bothersome and I myself wanted to shield my child from the profanity and crudeness of the game, but there are games out there that are some what educational like Minecraft.  All in all the world is continuing to grow with technology,  when once few had cell phones to now kids carrying around iphones of their own, it is inevitable that kids are going to be attracted to gaming.  However if you have them work towards getting these expensive systems it also teaches them to work for and appreciate things.  Just my thoughts!