So we had a pretty decent snowstorm over a good part of the area a bit ago, and as the snow dragged on I saw more and more posts in social media regarding the dirth of kids walking around looking to make a little pocket change by shoveling driveways. And every single one of them blamed video games.
Insert large sigh here.
It’s clearly no secret that we are a big video game family. Know what my eldest (who has the right age range for shoveling driveways) was doing during the storm? Shoveling driveways. Three to be exact. Know why? Because we told him that, if he wanted to, it would be an awesome time to make himself some pocket change. We knew that we had people in neighborhood who would not be able to take care of their own driveways, we coached him on how to ask people if he could shovel their driveways for them, how much to charge, how thoroughly he needed to shovel, and so on. After he went out, we checked on him and even brought him a hot drink. He was pretty tired after his second driveway, but was determined to get a third done. Did he play video games that weekend? Hell, yes! We were stuck at home for three days. But blaming kids’ lack of motivation for shoveling driveways on video games is simply incorrect. There were games waaay long before video games. There were puzzles and card games and board games. And there were videos and television shows waaay long before video games. None of those things ever caused kids to not go out and sweat a little for pocket change.
In one article that made the rounds a woman said she was letting her kid play video games because he deserved a break. I think that right there pointed out the cause of the missing kids. No, not the part were kids are so overworked by schools and extracurriculars that they need to take full advantage of the break given to us by the snowstorm to rest and recharge. The part were the parents didn’t encourage their kids to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. Now as a parent myself, I’m not going to hang all the other parents out to dry. Raising kids is an exhausting (but happy) task. In another article that popped up that weekend, one beleaguered parent detailed how frustrating it was to keep her kids on task just shoveling their own driveway. What I want is for people to stop blaming video games for all the ethical failures of our children.