The Woosification of America: Fortnite
I just finished watching a video on Facebook from a local radio personality who was sharing that his son stole his credit card out of his wallet and spent $150 on Fortnite. His child then compounded the crime by blaming his 4 year old brother. His post ended with "we had a long conversation, tears were shed, mostly mine but it ended with a hug...but when your son steals your credit card and spends $150 worth of crap, Fortnite is now banned from our home".
Remember when we were kids, we wouldn't dream of stealing our parents credit card. Dad would go nuts, and I'm certain the punishment wouldn't end with a hug. What happened? I'll tell you what happened, we decided to blame "things" rather than our precious kids. Let's blame Fortnite rather then admit that our baby boy committed a crime and must receive a harsh penalty. Kids no longer fear that Dad might go nuts if they lie, cheat, or steal, rather they know the consequence will be limited to a long conversation and a hug. Now I must admit I don't know what happened to this boy. For all I know, the radio personality did put the fear of God in his son and let him know that if he is caught stealing again that he won't see the light of day. But either way, the parent is promoting that the way to solve this problem is through "long conversations and hugs" and not through real consequences.
For the past year, I've heard several stories about Fortnite and "parents don't know what to do...my kid is addicted to Fortnite". Here's the answer be a parent! And this might surprise you, don't ban Fortnite. Kids need to learn to develop and grow with distractions. As adults we are constantly faced with things we would rather do then go to work and raise kids. I'm sure most of us would like to party every night like we did in College, but we can't. However, those same distractions are still here. No one closed all the bars downtown just because now we're adults and we have responsibilities. Instead, we learned to prioritize. Family comes first, then work, and then once all of our jobs are done then we can do things for ourselves.
Kids need to learn the same thing. In our house we don't monitor video game time or time on the phone. We believe our kids need to learn how to grow up in this age of technology. Rather we tell our kids school comes first, you must have straight A's. Homework must be completed as soon as you get home from school. Second, exercise or training. For our son, it's basketball and for our daughter, it's theatre and dance. This means in addition to the outside training they receive, games, and performances, they must practice at home. Finally, they must do their chores. The chores come whenever my wife or I ask and takes precedent over video games. Once the kids have completed all their responsibilities, we don't care how much Fortnite they play.