I’m pissed off. Angry, with a fire lit beneath me. And it’s my own fault.
As parents we make mistakes. We make choices, calculated guesses after weighing a number of factors, that seem important at the time of the decision. We live with consequences, secretly crossing our fingers behind our backs hoping what we decided was right. Well, what I decided was wrong. And the fire lit beneath me is the fire of pure determination to turn it completely around.
See, my B is sweet. Like, super sweet. He will give most anything up to anyone if they ask. If he really wants to hold onto it (obviously toys are what we’re talking about) and he sees it’s upsetting someone, he inevitably, without prompting, stand with an outreached hand and say, “it’s okay, you can play with it if you want.”. He’s sweet.
Enter video games on a brand new Wii / Xbox system just before he turned 4 last Christmas. Enter our accidentally realization that he’s really good at video games when he had never seen one before. Enter an obsession with Legos and a sweet boy who went with his father one day to get video games for the new gaming system and asked, “please, please can I play?”. Enter a video games that had not so bad of ratings, with swords / lightsabers and cute little Lego guys whose pieces fall apart when they’re hit.
I made a decision that I’m now trying to undue.
Boys will be boys – a saying I don’t subscribe to. My boy learned to hit, to punch, to slash with swords, snap with ‘guns’ and otherwise find an ‘angry’, destructive side that otherwise was not a part of his personality. Yes, he’s growing and developing, and yes, there’s a part of him that’s going through the developmental appropriateness of figuring out how life works…
But there’s another part of him that was introduced to acts of seemingly innocent violence (if there can be such a thing) that has been difficult for him to connect only with video games and disconnect in real life.
In light of recent events in our world, I am stronger in my convictions that while I can control his world, I will dissuade him from becoming a boy growing up in an angry world who has no ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, harm and health, fake and real… and control his impulses with such. Drastic? Maybe, but I’m not willing to take chances on his future.
While he’s young, I’m unraveling that which I have allowed to be creative. I’m refuse to stand idly by, noting his changes, the timing to the introduction of video games and his emotionally incompatible development with them. They aren’t bad video games. It’s NOT the video games, it’s just my boy isn’t ready for them. So, they’re gone. Along with all the swords, guns, lightsabers or anything else violent that we’ve allowed into our home. When he’s more emotionally capable of understanding these differences, he’ll be able to play them again.
He knows this is an issue, he knows I’m not happy about it. He knows change is coming. He’ll be pissed, and that’s okay. I’ll take the pissed off (now) 5 year old that I can control, rather than the disconnected, dangerous man I can’t.