1. Hi Steve,

    Quite frankly, they’re doing the exact same thing that we used to do, but adequate to their time. They actually learning how to work as a team, when they form teams to kill those zombies. They are messing with the girls when they act together to kill their group of zombies or enemies.
    The only thing they’re missing are the open doors, the sunlight, the interaction with nature. That’s a problem, indeed, because we don’t want them to lose those connections.
    Now, what we can do about that last issue is to organize some weekend with them to make some radical outdoor sports like make rappel, bumgee-jumping and so on. They won’t say no to that.
    Then we make two thing at once.
    We interact with our kids, make more family bonds and still make them interact with the wild. Get some sun.
    In the way back, they’ll be at their PSP (PlayStation Portable) or Nintendo, but with a smile in their faces.

  2. Thanks for the comment Rui… I agree, those things would be pretty fun for them, and who am I kidding… fun for me too!!

  3. I have been worrying allot lately about the same things. Sending my oldest to college this year was the trigger. I was a bit concerned with the lack of self sufficiency I was seeing in him. “Did I do this by trying to meet his every need and desire?” is what I was thinking and honestly still contemplate today wondering if its not too late for the other three. Or on the other hand is it a trade off for what I see in their generation as increased creativity and dedication to a more balanced life. Coming from the generation of work, accomplish, work, accomplish I know I have to step back and let them grow on their own terms. Love the comment above about planning some outdoor time with them and then I guess I need to help them learn to plan, organize and execute on their own terms. I’ll probably learn as much from them as they will from me.

    Great post. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for this post, Steve. I think you’re already in the minority in that you actually THINK about parenting and raising your kids. Way to step up!

    I am curious to hear how your children respond to you taking away their xbox and force them to go outside. I really like that you are going with them, rather than telling them to do something different. I think they will remember things like that for a lifetime! I still remember when my dad used to ask me to help him build wooden chairs and re-build the carburetor in his old Ford pickup. That has lasted with me for a lifetime.

  5. Andrew H

    Wow Steve, I could have written this about my 3 boys (17/15/11). I do play Left4Dead and other combat games with them (when the mrs is working and we should be cleaning) but running my own business takes a lot of quality time away. I also remember playing in the woods, making matchbox/hotwheels provide hours up hours of endless fun. My guys last about 15 minutes playing with non-electronic games before the nervous tick kicks in and they start staring longingly at the tv/lcd. I’m an electronic junkie as well though. Their friends are weired out when they realize the quiet 4th man on the team is one of their buddies 45year old dad. But at least look at their zombie frag-fests this way: When the zombie apocalypse does occur, our kids will be well prepared to survive!

  6. I know I’ve crippled my youngest. He’s as fascinated with time online with friends as off. In a way though, this has provided something we never had as children – exposure.

    Yes, he plays online with some of his ‘in-person’ friends, but often as not with new found friends around the world. He’s turned many gaming relationships into real contact relationships. They’ve moved beyond mere voices on the XBox to emails, phone calls, and texts. Some few he’s had the pleasure of meeting in person at local conventions or if they drop into town.

    It’s also had another benefit – getting to know folks first w/out color, creed, sexual direction etc. He’s become friends with a more diverse crew than I had the opportunity for as a child.

    We had maybe a couple of non-caucasion kids in my whole graduating class of high school. Sigh.


  7. Maggie McGary

    I have a12 year old son snd OMG, we have been here, done this! He has friends who live literally across the street yet who he says bye to…then “plays” with online for hours. He’s a great kid, straight As, very responsible, so I look the other way. That is, after I instruct him in online privacy and decorum 😉

  8. @JasonL. Well, I got blank stares and puzzled looks. I think my kids resist going outside or doing out-door-sy things, but they end up enjoying it when they do!

    @AndrewH. I actually do understand the draw that video games hold on kids. I spent more quarters than I care to remember on video games in the front of the drugstore and at the mall. And when momma ain’t there… I do partake of my share. And I never thought of the benefit of zombie killing…that will make me sleep better tonight.

    @Maggie I know, isn’t it strange? What really freaked me out a few weeks ago was one of my kids was walking around in the kitchen talking to himself and laughing and then a few minutes later I realized that he had his wireless earpiece on from his Xbox360 and was just talking with his friends on Xbox LIVE. Times, they are a-changing.

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