Helen (not her real name) is about my age and I’ve known her for 20 years. We don’t live in the same town but we run into each other fairly often and I have always thought of her as a friend (still do) even though we don’t spend a lot of time together. Recently I stopped at the dry cleaners and ran into Helen outside in the parking lot. We chit-chatted for a moment and I asked about her children and grandchildren. One thing led to another and she mentioned that she had kept her 8 year old granddaughter over the weekend. I asked if they had fun and she said they did but that she was very tired. I laughed and assured her that when I keep my grandchildren I get tired too. Then she said, “Elise loves playing video games . She started playing them about 10 p.m. and I finally went to bed at midnight but she played for another couple of hours.”
We talked some more. I picked up my dry cleaning and left, but all the way home I thought about Helen and Elise. The more I thought about what she said, the more it bothered me.
None of my business….right?
I keep telling myself not to let it bother me, that it’s none of my business and every time I say that the other side of my brain says, I just can’t believe Helen is okay with letting her granddaughter play hours of unsupervised video games until the wee hours of the morning. I also know that I am not always right (even though I tell my husband I am). Just what is it that bothers me so much about this that I’m still thinking about it weeks later?
First, I know I’m not the “grandparent police,” but what Helen said shocked me and I’m surprised that someone I thought I knew…I obviously don’t.
Second, even though I know there are educational video games out there I seriously doubt that an unsupervised eight year old would be playing educational games.
Third, I’m old school on early bedtimes for young children. It’s too hard to get a child back into the school week routine if they stay up too late on weekends.
Much Ado About Nothing
Some of you will wonder why I even bother to write about this. Here are some articles for you to read that reaffirm why I think monitoring our children and grandchildren’s video games and the time they spend playing them is important.
I would love for you to weigh in on this topic. Please leave me some comments and tell me what you think!