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Video Games

Kind of a cool turnaround. My original thought was “EK, plays video games too much.” He’s 13 now and and the situation is his report card coming in and his grades being off and putting off doing his homework and resisting his mother and seeing many prior images of this. Everyone seems to agree, teachers, his doctor, family, stop his video games — it made so much sense logically but it hurt me every time I tried telling him to stop. So I did some mindful work on the thought using with The Work of Byron Katie. Asking 1. Is it True he plays too much? and 3. How do I react when I believe that thought? (how do I treat him, and treat myself with the thought?), and 4.Who would I be without the thought and then explore the opposites to see if they are more true than the original statement that he plays video games too much. One opposite that came to me is that “I don’t play video games enough.” This one cracked my chest and my eyes a bit…. what if I spent time with him playing video games? So I downloaded Clash of Clans and began playing and he immediately wanted us to start a clan together. He began teaching me his world of gaming… strategies, techniques, long term planning, farming, gathering other members and the life lessons began. He was able to be the teacher and the leader, I could feel the shift. Some friends of his joined another clan and he shared his feeling about it with me and we talked through it, new people joined, some used a lot of language and were aggressive to others in the clan –we talked through it and I watched his decisions… not as his dad –as his friend. Just about every day I noticed him sharing more and more, some of it very sensitive, privileged and personal… like when he was younger… I’d hear him tell his friends or his friends tell him about me being that dad that played video games with him and his friends. I hadn’t realized some separation that had snuck in with his teenage years and me being too far into his business. Over the break I was also able to talk to him about doing his homework, a little each day –in between our playing. I had a granular understanding of when breaks for school work would fit and very little resistance came. Another shift. We gamed together, we did homework together… so grateful to find this way with him. EK must have put 25 hours into this history project, a ninja dojo, much of it this past week. Working hand in hand, shopping, burning ourselves with glue guns… I’m broken open through this this and so grateful to be IN his clan and not clashing against it and I watch him more easily move out of the gaming world if I ask him to. I notice him spending more time around me and engaging me in discussion more often. I love the deep wisdom that reliably comes from mindfully looking at the opposites of stressful thinking. Such clear strength and wisdom and I am so grateful to know this process and to be able to facilitate myself through the adolescence of my thinking and to turn my advice to him around so I can parent myself to become the friend and father I want to be. I don’t know about tomorrow, but this week has been pretty amazing. Thoughts?




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