Can We Lay Off Video Gaming Parents, Please?

ControllerFor weeks now, I’ve been seeing the same photo popping up over and over again on the Internet. Two little boys are perched on a pier, their backs to the camera. In their hands are fishing poles, under their tiny rear ends are tackle boxes, and written on the photo are the words, “Because Memories Aren’t Made Playing Video Games.”

I can’t disagree more.

Memories are, in fact, made playing video games. My daughter is making them right now.

She and her father are sitting in our living room, each one with an XBox controller in their hand.

They’re battling each other on some LEGO game, and in between the beeps and boops coming out of the TV screen I hear them talking.

Every few minutes, I hear giggles too.

It’s a sweet and precious sound.

They are doing exactly what it is we want fathers and daughters to do: they’re spending time together. They’re bonding.

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My husband is giving our daughter what social scientists have been telling us for decades that little girls need more than anything: an active, involved father who has found a common interest with his little girl.

It’s not the only way they bond. Just this afternoon, they were in the back yard kicking a soccer ball around because getting our kid’s butt up off the couch and out into the fresh air is as important for gaming parents as it is for fishermen types.

That is what that photo of the little boys – or the message on it anyway – is getting at, isn’t it? That our kids should explore the great wide world beyond the gadgets in their hands?

That I’ll agree on.

If only the message wasn’t imbued with so much judgment for parents who pick a different style of living.

Because video games aren’t the problem. They don’t make our kids any lazier, they don’t make them dumber, or more prone to violence. At least not in homes where the parents are on top of the gaming, watching what the kids are playing, controlling the amount of time on machines, the types of games played, actually, sometimes picking up a controller and playing along.

Good parents raise good video gamers.

Good parents make memories with their kids.

Sometimes they’re outside on the pier. Sometimes they’re inside on the couch.

What matters isn’t where they’re made or how, but that you’re making them at all.


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  1. YES!!! It’s so nice to see an article with the same viewpoint as myself. We are a video gaming family. But we are not *just* a video gaming family. We do tons of other stuff together….last summer we went fishing, boating, camping, etc. It’s frustrating that so many people think video games are the devil. My in-laws are like this. Yet they have no issues with watching loads of television, which is just as bad to me.

  2. My children loved playing video games when they were kids. They are adults now. My daughter loved Mario so much. I remember them , all 3 playing in the early 90’s . Mario 3 had just come out and we all played it. I have awesome memories of them playing video games!!!

  3. Debby Chandler says:

    I’m an original gamer and my kids grew up playing video games. I also tried to monitor what games they were playing though.

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