Bad Parenting: Pete – The Monster in the Closet

Standard

Meal time conversations…

Just the other day, I told Wyatt that a monster by the name of Pete lives in his closet.

How do I know Pete exists, you may ask? Well, Pete is afraid of the dark, so he turns on the closet light.

“If you ever see the light on in your closet, that is Pete.”

I then told Wyatt that I have to feed the monster on a daily basis to keep him from attacking Wyatt in his sleep.

At this point in the conversation, my wife looked like she wanted to kill me. She muttered something about me sleeping in Wyatt’s room if my story spawned nightmares.

That led to a trip to check the closet. We walked into his room, opened his closet door, turned on the light. Nothing. Wyatt somehow tripped as I gave him a little push, landing on something cushy. I closed the closet door and walked away.

When Wyatt came out, I told him that his name is actually Pete. He is the monster! AHHHHHH!

Talk about a twist ending. Therapy won’t be cheap.

Note to Self: Next time go along with the setup. It was perfect! Scare the kid. Not too late to redeem this story. A simple closet light turned on, right before bedtime, might work wonders. Or not…

Bad Parenting: The Diablo Debacle

Standard

As a dad, I struggle with trying to discern what types of videogames are appropriate for my son and I to play. I have to remind myself that he is only six years old. Despite being a competent player, he isn’t one of my friends, someone who can make content decisions for himself. The little guy is my son, so I have to make media choices for him.

diablo-IIISometime last year, I made a bad decision–more like a ton, but this is just one example. Despite an all knowing parental voice telling me that playing Diablo 3 with my son was not a good idea, I proceeded forward. He loved the game! We found ourselves criss-crossing the map hunting down bad guys. Monsters that would burst, giving birth to electric eel-like monsters. All writhing in pixelated bloody glory. We were having fun. I wasn’t being a good dad.

I ended up having to confess to my son that I had been wrong. Diablo 3 was not a game that him and I needed to be playing together. I apologized. He cried. He wanted to battle monsters with his daddy. I assured him that there were plenty of other games that we could play together. He asked when he might be able to play Diablo 3. I told him that he could play when he was able to understand exactly what is going on in the game.

This was one of those parental failure/redemption moments. I want to encourage other dads and moms out there to consider what types of games they are playing with their children.

  • Is the content appropriate?
  • Does the game’s worldview run contrary to beliefs one is trying to instill?
  • Are you just playing the game because you want to play it, ignoring the voice in your head telling you that you need to stop?

Being a parent that is open, honest, and willing to admit mistakes allows your child to see you as real. That is a win-win in my book. Picking age appropriate media, another win.