rope. tree. fan. spear. snake. wall.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

another crisis, been and gone

And then I didn't post for a coupla days after I found out that I'm Tom Waits, which is reprehensible*, but here's why: I have lots of time, but it's all in 10-minute chunks, which doesn't seem like enough time to cover the latest crisis, which is now basically over. That is one of the cool things about parenting, actually, that the world collapses on a regular basis, the problems get solved before you even have time to tell anyone about them, and if you're me, and you don't document them, then they're forgotten two days later. Not that I have forgotten that Robert's parents bought Thing1 an Xbox even though we have clearly, specifically, and repeatedly said no, but it doesn't seem like as big a deal as it did a few days ago. Because at least we agree 100% on what to do about it, so all we have to do is tell the Oompas that we said no, and we meant no, and please get rid of the damn thing, then wait a few weeks to see if they actually do it.

*(I mean that not posting is reprehensible. That I am Tom Waits is self-evident.)

I do feel the need to qualify this a bit, as we do have one dear friend (that we know of) who bought a Nintendo (or something) for her kid, and I don't want her to think that I'm judging her. NintendoXboxPlaystation is not inherently evil. It is a fine thing for some kids, but not for Thing1. Because he acts like a crack addict, I swear. He plays online games on his computer, maze-things, or shooty-things, or whatever, and he gets really, really, really tense about them. Tense? How about wigged-out? It's scary. He screams at you if you interrupt him while he's playing. He hits the keys so hard he's actually damaged them, and now some of them don't work - which is particularly sucky because when Thing1 gets Robert's laptop next year because R is upgrading, the Dell which Thing1 now uses was supposed to go to Thing2. But the Dell is pretty useless without a working A-key (among others), and it's Thing1's fault, not Thing2's, so it's hardly fair that Thing1 gets a shiny nearly-new computer and Thing2 gets a POS. Hm. I digress. The upshot is that Thing1 lacks the interpersonal skills, manners, concentration, etc. that are appropriate to his age, and computer games will not help him develop them. Plus there is the fact that when they bought the Xbox, he picked out a game that is so violent it's not supposed to be played by kids under 16. Sixteen!


Kelly said...

Anna, you shouldn't let him play these games any more at all if he's behaving like that. Maybe as positive reinforcement, but even then, in very limited amounts?

alala said...

Down to half an hour a day, because his grades aren't super. Not letting him play at all has a huge appeal, but it is the only, only leverage we have, in terms of extorting any kind of cooperation from him. If he messes up, he loses computer time, and if he doesn't have any at all, we have no way to punish - er, discipline - him, now that beating and starving are so out of fashion. The whole "Son, I am Very Disappointed" routine turns out to be supremely ineffective, and we don't have any other great ideas.

Hm. Boarding school?