Playing Video Games With Purpose

photo by Beth @ Pages of Our Life Photography


I am officially apologizing to the ladies in charge here at The Homeschool Post for not submitting this post on time. You see, I have acquired a new obsession that is taking time away from the time I would normally spend writing and blogging.

I have started playing video games.

It’s not just any video game. It’s the one where characters race around difficult tracks throwing bombs and shells at one another. Frustrated by my lack of skill, I kept working playing at it to get better. Now I might be somewhat addicted.

I promise there’s a purpose in it.

As I have come to terms with my son getting older, I have tried to examine my heart more objectively and figure out why this change upsets me so much. We are a very close-knit family.  And I think I am afraid of losing that at my son gets older.

Then another thought began to convict me…

I don’t spend enough quality time with him.

Yes, we are together a lot. But we don’t spend much time interacting with one another. Aside from school, we are both busy in our own little worlds. He is wrapped up with his music and video games. I am busy working and writing and trying to keep the house clean. Our personal interests don’t collide very often.

That was when I decided to start playing video games.

It wasn’t easy. When I first told him to set up the game, he was more than a little shocked.  He patiently explained how the game was played and answered my never-ending list of questions.  Truthfully I wasn’t very good at it.  But the more we played, the less I fell of the track.  I began to look forward to the time we could sit and play a silly video game.

Then I had a moment of revelation.

This video game isn’t silly to my son.

It’s important to him…just like the music he loves and the books he reads. If I want to be in his world, to be a part of his life, and to have a relationship with him, I need to take his interests seriously.

One day it won’t be video games. It will be college classes, a job and a girl friend. If I want to be a part of his life then, I need to be a part of his life now.

Like flowers, relationships need to be watered. The relationship with our children is no different. We have to spend time with them, interacting on their level and getting involved in their lives.

For me, that means I need to show my son that I really care about what is important to him.

It’s not really that hard.  I can do it by giving him my full attention when he tells me about the newest book he is reading.  In the car, I can turn off my music and listen to the music he likes.   I can also take time out of my schedule to play a video game with him….even if that means a post is a little late 😉

What about you my friend? How can you spend time interacting with your children?



A huge thank to Beth from Pages of Our Life Photography for the beautiful picture of my son and me!

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  1. says

    I know that there are a lot of parents out there against video games, but I grew up with them and I came out okay. LOL! But that’s one thing my kids enjoy doing in their spare time and I will sit down and play with them and they love it. I usually knock the socks off of them but that’s what I’m here for, to keep them grounded. LOL! We don’t buy violent games, we are into the Mario games and the Wii Sports and stuff like that. My kids love it when I play with them and I do consider that quality time together. Every family is different and you gotta do your own thing.
    So can we get some video of you playing? LOL!

    • says

      Kim, we don’t buy the violent games either. We have very strict rules about video games (as well as other entertainment). But it does make for some great family fun. And just for you, I might do that video 😉

  2. says

    Very good point. I actually played Wii Jeopardy with my oldest son this week for the very same reason. We’re all together all day, but most of our communication is school, chore, or discipline related. We had a good time (and I won 😉 ).

  3. says

    LOVE this post, Alicia! You are so right…I’ve never been one to enjoy video games, and frankly see them as a total waste of time, BUT…you are right–they mean a lot to my sons. They even bought me a special pinball game for the Xbox for Mother’s Day and I feel embarrassed that I haven’t asked to play it. So you’ve inspired me–I’ll make some time for that this weekend. It does mean so much when we take an interest in what they’re interested in. Hugs!

  4. says

    Alicia, I so needed to hear this. Up until this point, I have had zero interest in the Wii. My son would love it if I played some Lego Star Wars with him. Thanks for motivating me!

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