I came across an article posted on imom.com that referred to 7 ways to prevent childhood video game addictions. I found the article interesting and personally perplexing at the same time. Interesting in that there is such a phenomenon, but perplexing in that I see in my own children the propensity to be caught up in their electronic devices or video games for hours at a time. With that said, I found myself feeling very convicted this morning.
I say convicting in that it wasn't 24 hours ago that my son put down his video game controller and approached me about hitting some baseballs in the garage against his new batting screen. Only to be told by myself that it was raining and I was tired and beat from a long day. Yep, there I was sitting on the couch, not even swinging at my "good parent" opportunity.
I believe some of these childhood psychological phenomenons, such as "video game addiction" may be rooted in our own parental laziness and apathy. Yes I said it, I can be lazy and unmotivated. Fortunately for me, my wife is a good team mate and between the two of us, we hit more of the parental pitches than we miss.
What I have learned over the years is that parenting is a long term commitment, and that we are given a vast number of opportunities that allow for failure as well as successe. You see, today is a new day and I have an opportunity to redeem myself and instigate another unique batting session in the garage tonight. I believe the key to successful parenting is to at least swing at the majority of our parenting opportunities. The odds are in our favor if we just swing the bat.
Keeping with my baseball analogy, maybe our parental batting score can be kept in the statistics of our opportunities and what we do with each of them. In Major League Baseball batters are ranked based on their batting average. For every opportunity at bat, "base hits" or "strike outs" are recorded and weighted out against all previous batting opportunities, thus giving them a percentage of success in the opportunities. A great batting average in baseball is around 40%. In parenting I believe the percentage must be much, much higher, but it is similar, in that no one parent is perfect and will hit every pitched opportunity for a home run. Fortunately for parents like me, we are given many batting opportunities that just require that we swing for the ball and hit our fair share of base hits. The key to success, in my opinion, is to recognize the parenting opportunities we are given and at least swing a majority of the time. That may sound a little simplistic, but what do you think? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.