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July 27, 2008

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callieandbatido

I will start by saying, we have a Wii. My two kids (10 and 14) mostly play it when friends come over so there isn't a big monitoring issue. That said, don't cave in Zennmamma. The Wii is the "must have" for now but it will be quickly replaced by another "must have" that will kick the Wii to the corner. And if everyone has one, wouldn't they get old a lot faster?

Zen Mama Wannabe

Yeah, I definitely think that is part of it for us; my son doesn't JUST want screen time when friends are over - he wants it A LOT. I joke that he is like a junkie who keeps wanting just a little more and then a little more of his favorite *fix*, but honestly, I'm not sure that's too far off. Maybe if he was more like your kids, and it was easier to monitor, I wouldn't feel so conflicted about getting one. Or not. Hmmmm.

LarkLady

Two daughters, now 18 and 14. No Wii in household. No X-Box, either. We have a Play Station that we got more than a few years ago; it's not used often anymore; we also have Dance Dance Revolution, which is. My girls will tell you that they're never the "first on the block" to get anything -- and they're right. I'm more of the "let everyone else try it out first" type ;-) If it's worth having, it will stick around... and the prices will very likely come down.

I'm not as adamant about screen time as you are, Zen Mamma -- but then, my older daughter is a kinesthetic learner and video games do sometimes help her to get a grasp on things. Sigh... If only they made Algebra for Nintendo!

Mostly, I think it's about balance and how to achieve a healthy balance overall, for both you and for your kids. Computer skills are important in today's world... but so are books and playing outside and helping around the house; kids need to have some alone time each day, as well as some time to play with friends and time to be with the rest of the family.

Are your kids getting a reasonably good balance of all of those things?

Given free choice for their free time, would your kids ALWAYS go for the video game?

The answers to those two questions would be significant factors in how I'd answer the Wii or No Wii question. Another one would be how much effort or anxiety it's going to add to YOUR life in monitoring it. (Yes, it's all about limits -- but who's the one there at home having to monitor those limits? I'm guessing that's you, at least most of the time.) And -- I guess here's the kicker: given that none of us has more than 24 hours in a day, what's going to get cut out to allow for Wii time?

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