Mom Talk Monday: The Great Video Game Debate - Real Mom Recs

Mom Talk Monday: The Great Video Game Debate

Back when I was a perfect parent (you know, before I actually had real kids) I was a firm believer that my kids would never play video games. I rolled my eyes when I saw kids in public glued to a handheld device. I’d heard about the video game epidemic plaguing a generation of young people by taking away their ability to socialize in real life. The decision to withhold video games from my children seemed like an easy and obvious one.

Fast forward a few years and a few kids, and my stance on the video game debate has started to change. My son has a lot of energy and not a lot of attention span. Somewhere along the way, bringing along an iPad or Nintendo DS seemed like a great way to get him to stay quiet and happy when we go places that require a lot of waiting. He gets dragged to his sisters’ dance classes several times per week, and being able to hand him a device has made these waiting room hours much more pleasant for everyone.

Like lots of parenting decisions, the video game decision easily turns into a slippery slope. Several of my son’s friends have a Wii or Nintendo Switch, and now he is begging and pleading of one of those. It’s tempting to have a gaming system to use as “currency” for him (i.e. if you do all your homework and 20 minutes of reading, you earn XX minutes of video game time). However my initial concerns are still there. Will he become addicted and not want to engage in the creative and active play he does now? Do video games actually hinder social skills? Will he grow up to become one of those husbands that plays video games all the time?!

I’m still on the fence here but I’ve laid out the pros and cons:

Video Game Pros:

  • fitting in with friends and peers who play video games
  • can use as a reward (bribe) to encourage homework, chores, etc.
  • Just Dance, Wii Fit, etc promote physical activity
  • could give Mom and Dad opportunities for peace and quiet

Video Game Cons:

  • less time doing other more brain-boosting types of play
  • could get expensive
  • could get addictive
  • doesn’t help develop social skills

Moms and Dads, weigh in! Do you allow gaming systems in your house? What parameters do you set?

video game debate



Adoptive mom, biological mom, slacker mom, Disney mom, and above all things a REAL mom. Fan of blogging, sleeping, and pretending not to hear my kids fight.


  1. Honestly, if it were just me making the decision, we probably wouldn’t have video games in the house. But I’m not the only parent, so we do. I’m okay with it though, as long as they don’t start to take away from other, more fulfilling activities. My kids have a limited amount of screen time each day, so they can use that for TV or video games. It’s working for now.

  2. We allow gaming in our house because it was something my husband and I are both passionate about. (He played semi professionally before we met) Once my son gets old enough to play we will put a limit on it and make sure he has plenty of other activities. Price wise we budget for games and items we need so if a new game comes out we will wait til the budget allows. Honestly to each their own though!

  3. My kids have tablets. They can play them at home for a period of time and of course when we go to an appointment they can take them.

  4. my husband and I arent video game people, so we dont have consoles of our own which i think helps. but, we also ave a 2 year old, so he isnt interested at this time, as well as exposed. i think balance is key

    1. Finding that balance seems to be the goal and challenge of most things parenting, doesn’t it?? Thanks for your comment, Jasmine!

  5. I think even I had the notions when I used to see kids glued to these devices in public and used to think how can parents make them so addict. But now I realize that with certain time limitations, kids ought to have that video play.

  6. We don’t have any gaming systems but my 10 year old has a laptop, iPad and iPod. I just limit her time on them which she has to earn the time she does get

  7. Before I had a baby, I said absolutely not to any video games ( I was an elitist child who had access only to books). Well, I married a programmer. Which means a gamer. So, I started playing some to make him love me more. Low and behold, I actually learned A LOT about history from the games we played! Plus, it helped me with my lack of ability to coordinate directions. Seriously. So, we are compromising—some video games, but not Grand Theft Auto. Nope.

    1. Good point about the Grand Theft Auto- following the ratings on the games is an aspect to the debate that I didn’t even address. But yes some games are truly violent and inappropriate for kids. We have to stay on top of our kids with these things!

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