As a Mom, seeing my kids playing on their video games A LOT, makes my skin crawl. It kind of makes me crazy. Crazy with worry. This isn’t very healthy, its rotting their brains, its making them lazy kids that will turn into lazy adults. UUGGGGHHHHH!
As my heart begins to race, that lovely Mother’s guilt starts to kick in and my ideal world of living an unschooling life starts to feel as if its falling apart all around me. That worry and doubt starts to kick in. I know that any unshooling or homeschooling Mom reading this is also feeling the same way at times. I know this because my emails and comments tell me. So it is good to know that in a way, this feeling is normal. If I didn’t feel this way, then maybe I am not quite doing my job as a parent. I also know that the hardest part of this type of life style is to trust.
Dayna Martin, author of Radical Unschooling writes:
“I believe that what my children are learning is their business, and it’s not right or necessary to prod their minds to see what they know. Again, I trust them and their learning processes.”
So how do you as a parent trust that your child is learning anything when all they are mostly doing is playing a video game or watching videos on YouTube? Well, I am going to tell you.
Xbox or Playstation:
Both of my sons are MAJOR Xbox fans. They play for hours. Now as you may remember from my other posts, my son Brandon is autistic. So playing on computers and video games is a big part of his life. I feel it is a stemming or coping mechanism. I had to really let go of control here and let him be for a bit, and I am so glad that I did. Certain games that he plays has opened up other interests for him, like history. Not to mention he has gained friendships with other boys (yes, I do know that they are not 40 year old men) who live on the other side of the planet. He has a very close friend that lives in Spain. They would talk a lot on Skype and on their games. He learned about other cultures and their langue. It was kind of fun for me to listen to the boys interact with each other.
One day I walked into his room and he was very involved with watching something on his phone. I was a bit afraid to ask, but I had to know what had him so interested. He showed me a YouTube video he was tentatively watching. It was about a WWII bunker that was discovered. He became interested in this from playing his Call of Duty WWII game. He talked about where the bunker was located and what it was used for among other historical facts. This was a great lesson on history that he found very interesting.
You would be surprised to know how much math is involved with playing these games. When the kids are needing to purchase something for their game, they need to figure out how much it is, then they need to convert it to real money and see how much they will actually need to purchase their coins, Robucks or Minecraft money.
One really big thing that I love most of all how this has taught Brandon how to do research. When he has come to a point in the game that he cannot figure out what to do next, he gets on YouTube and websites and looks up how to beat the game. He reads and watches what others have to say and how they were able to beat the game and then he takes what he has learned and uses it to beat the game. This is an amazing skill to have. There is nothing this child cannot do, because whenever he is up to a challenge he does the research to figure it out.
So I ask you, when your anxiety starts to kick up because your kids just want to play on their video game and you think that they are not learning. Take a deep breath and trust in the process. Trust that your kids will learn something new each time they turn on their system.