When I was eight years old, my Grandma Connie gave my family a Nintendo gaming system. We had Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt and that was it. I remember playing non-stop, or as often as I could skirt my parental supervision and plop myself down at the controls.
Fast forward twenty years, and Nellie and I buy a Nintendo Wii for Scott. We thought it was a nice change from the traditional systems, we liked that the Wii required physical movements and could be a good workout. We (and by we, I mean me) naively thought that playing a little bit every day would be a fun diversion for our family. Since I can't really enjoy playing more than a half hour at a time, Scott couldn't or wouldn't play for that long. So I thought...
Scott would probably play the Wii full time if he could, and to all those parents who are laughing at me, I was wrong okay? I admit it. It has gotten to the point that I hate the Wii, or at least what it stands for. Scott only plays half an hour typically, but he talks about it the rest of the time. I could be talking with him about anything, and there is always a logical segway into the Wii. In particular he likes the female characters like Princess Peach (he says it's because they are cute...I don't know if I should worry) and Daisy. Somedays I think if I have to hear about the Wii characters one more time, I might try embedding the Wii into the wall. The worst part is that he becomes emotional when his Wii time is finished. Now, he doesn't break out into a tantrum, but rather has a sad, somber face where he seems to be holding back a wall of tears. This is the real problem, the moping and mourning when he is away from the Wii.
On the bright side, Scott has something that he really loves, something we can take away from him if necessary. That is an effective punishment really. The true downside is that my little boy is far better behaved when he does get the Wii taken away. On Sunday, we had a talk and explained to him that if he couldn't handle himself better, the Wii would take a permanent vacation.
I'm interested to know: how does everyone else deal with their kids obsessions? How do you keep at a healthy level?