When I was growing up in the 80’s – 90’s, technology wasn’t very common. TV was the biggest waste of our time back then. Watching kids TV on BBC1 after school until Neighbours came on and then actually sitting and watching that drivel until Dad had to watch the Six o’clock News. I remember when Channel 5 launched with the one and only master of the one liner, Tim Vine, as the face of the channel. That was the fifth major TV channel and he was the biggest name that they could recruit. Sad times.
I remember getting a Spectrum 128k back in the late 80’s. The fancy one with the cassette deck attached, no less! The hours I’d spend in front of the monitor merely waiting for the fucking thing to load, before playing ten minutes of Oh Mummy, Odd Job Eddy or Emlyn Hughes Soccer before it froze and it would have to be loaded all over again. Tough times. Fast forward to the 90’s and the evolution of console gaming. A Sega Master System with Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, followed by a Super Nintendo with Street Fighter 2 and I thought I was in a futuristic world. Little did I know what my kids would be experiencing all these years on.
I always love having the latest technology in my life. Plastation One, Two, Three and now the PS4. My parents bought it for me a couple of years ago for Christmas and even at the then age of 37, I loved it. The problem was, my boy liked it too. Charlie is a gamer. And I think for the first time in his life, he’s addicted. Ok so he’s had the obsession with Cars, Peppa Pig, Marvel Super Heroes and Star Wars, but this gaming thing is another level. It’s my fault and I realise that but starting out I loved the fact that my son wanted to play console games with me. I got to play Lego Dimensions (highly recommended, if not an expensive addition), without being judged. I could be a kid with my kid and sit playing games for as long as the Mrs let me. But now the PS4 is in Charlie’s room and it goes on as soon as he gets in from school and stays on throughout the evening. He’ll usually play Star Wars Battlefront for a while and then watch YouTube videos of other people playing Star Wars Battlefront (go figure!) and then move on to the world of Minecraft.
Now the problem is, he’s started to get moody. I know boys start growing up and get argumentative but this is purely gaming related. A mixture of tiredness and Princess Leia kicking his arse, puts him in a foul mood at bedtime and then all the woes of the day come flooding out in an emotional waterfall. My dilemma is that I feel bad telling him that he only has limited time on the PS4, but I also feel bad when he gets too emotionally involved with Chewbacca and Darth Vader to the point that he becomes a wreck at bedtime.
The answer is obviously, moderation. Moving the console to the sitting room is also an option, therefore reducing playing time and time spent holed up in his bedroom. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment as I feel like I’m losing this one.
This parenting lark doesn’t get any easier does it?! God help me when he discovers girls!!!