Parenting is hard. Sometimes I can't even believe I am old enough and responsible enough to be in charge of these little people I have!
From the moment our children are conceived, we are called to do what is best for them. Even when our children kick and scream, we do what we must to protect them and care for them.
Like when they were babies and didn't want to get strapped in their car seat. My active 6 month old son did not understand why he was being forced into a car seat with straps to hold him down. He cried a lot of the time while in that seat, but I continued to buckle that strap because that is what was best, without question.
Or when they were toddlers and needed that medicine for that ear infection. My tactile daughter grimaced at the medicine and worked very hard to close that mouth in protest, but I did what it took to make sure she received it, because I knew it would make her better.
And now, at the ages of 10 and 12, still I strive to make the decisions that are best for them. But it is such a challenge, because sometimes I know what is best for them, but it is tough to do what it takes to act.
With Fortnite, I knew it was addicting. I tried to set harsh limits on this popular game, but Fortnite became a constant struggle in our home. I saw what it was doing to my family. I saw what it was doing to my students in the classroom. I knew it was negatively affecting my son. I KNEW I wanted it out of my house. But honestly, I knew that taking away this beloved game would be very difficult for my son. So I kept existing in status quo by allowing this game in my home, even as I knew it was not best for him, all because I knew how upset he would be.
Research on this popular game states the facts: Our kids are addicted. This addiction is evident in the home and in the classroom. I have done a lot of research on brain health in this tech world, and the ramifications of hours on fortnite are scary. Search for yourself.
Their brains are changing, affected by the stimulation of this video game. During these years of their life, their experiences are shaping their brain. The countless hours kids are spending on Fortnite are dangerously impacting their brains.
We knew it was time for it to come to an end. Clearly, the pull to play fortnite couldn't go on forever, and we were ready to reclaim our home!
January 1, we stopped fortnite completely. No more are they allowed to play in our house. We took it away, and it is one of the best decisions we have made as parents. It was a tough decision. We were sure our son would be upset with us. This alone often changes parents' minds on what is best for their kid: They don't want their kid to be mad at them. This is incorrect thinking. This is weak parenting.
Why did we stop completely? Limiting it to small amounts didn't work. We wanted it out of their brains and hearts.
How did we tell him we were stopping? We were honest. We said that we love him so much and are willing to do things that upset him if it means what is best. We told him that our job as his parents are to help his brain grow and develop so it can be used to positively impact this world, and fortnite was not helping his brain, but hurting it. We told him we missed him and that we want to be intentional with every minute and every thought. Fortnite was taking away from that.
It was tough for Braxton. In his little 10 year old world, this was hard. It would have been easy to change our minds and cave. But, really, he understood. As hard as it was for him, he gets it.
I am his MOM. I have to fight for my home, daily. I am committed to doing what is necessary to protect and care for my children. So, yes, I unplugged a video game, and I'm thankful I have my son back.
Life is too short, and fortnite was causing our family to be stuck. We were stuck in the fortnite rut. So many valuable experiences can take the place of this video game, like baking!