We spent an awesome couple of days with a great family in Gilbert, AZ. It was great to talk about travel, living life on purpose, and doing things that matter.

Our (total of 11) children played excellently together - (the girls gave us spa treatments).

While there was lots of things the boys loved doing together, the one thing my two boys couldn't get enough of was playing the Wii.

They have what I call 'addictive personalities'. When it comes to certain things - sugar, movies, video games - they can't get enough. And once they've had some of it, and I put an end to it, they go through withdrawals - whiney, moody, unfocused.

My personal approach is to avoid all of it for the most part. We eat very little (if any) sweets, watch a rare movie, and have NO VIDEO GAMES (computer games, iPod games, etc.) whatsoever. (It's also a part of our educational approach).

This works great for us. But while visiting friends along the road, we let our kids indulge, (they get their fill of movies, games and sweets)  because we're more interested in enjoying the company of our hosts then enforcing our (unconventional?) rules.

So after getting back on the road after a stimulating day filled with Wii and movies, I wasn't surprised when one boy in particular was playing the part of Mr. Moody, and saying things he doesn't usually say like "I want to live in a house," or "I don't like traveling."

Huh? Excuse me? This from the kid that never wants to be home-schooled, because "worldschool is so much better!"

I knew it would wear off. My hunch was confirmed when this is how we spent the next day, camping in the Southern Arizona wilderness.

This was our first campsite, where we got attacked by killer mosquitoes while setting up, and blown down by the wind the next day.

This is where our kids spent hours (literally hours and hours, from sun up, through wind storm) that day (okay, I guess at first they were in a spot closer to the truck, until they got attacked by red ants). They look bored to death, don't they?

After packing up camp, we stopped to learn about cotton, and picked a few cotton balls. That kept them entertained in the truck for the next two hours.

After some errands in town, we set up a new camp spot for the night.

The fascination here was to cut off pieces of cactus with their new pocket knives, to see if they could find water.

I just like to take pictures of them.

Who needs video games when you can play in real life?

What is your personal experience with or without media?




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6 Responses

  1. Lisa-Marie

    Rachel – we never allowed TV, videos games or handhelds of any kind – and this was in a community where kids were getting cellphones at 8! She complained sometimes but then just picked up her book 🙂 Now she is nearly 14 we are a bit more liberal – she is allowed TV sometimes with us in the evenings and she has her own computer for home-schooling but I think all those years reading, drawing and singing have made her who she is. I don’t think she’d be nearly as creative, imaginative or patient had she always had a DS in her pocket. It was tough looking like the bad guys sometimes (even my family called me Mommy Dearest) but I think it pays off in the end.

  2. Heidi

    We’re staying in a place with no TV right now and it’s amazing how well my two girls entertain themselves. Currently they just finished sliding down the stairs in a sleeping bag and now they’re playing a princess matching game.

    The funny thing is people think they need to feel bad for us because we don’t have a TV. We’ve been offered two TVs since we got here two weeks ago. We respectfully turned them down.

  3. Lana

    TV and video games are very toxic and most people get addicted. Its the rare person who doesn’t. My philosophy is nobody gets them, not the adults, not the kids.


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