Gaming Parents

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Gaming Parents

A new baby is here and Dad just won't put down the game.

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See, this is why i wonīt have children. Those little brats take up to much of my time.

For me, life when iīm not working and/or helping out around the house is time that should be spent on me, and me only. Because noone is more important in the world then yourself.

A great article and one that speaks to me.

I've recently had to shoulder the weight of the new hat called "Dad". I remember when my little girl first came into this world; I responded very poorly.

I was slowly realizing this change in my life's focus that you mentioned. The being put down to Number 3, the extra pressure on career, the life that is completely dependent on my wife and I.
I actually had a very negative physical response to this realization. I felt ill, fatigued, and scared as I was slowly coming to terms with these new facts about my life. At moments, I even grew resentful towards my little girl. I couldn't be myself anymore, I couldn't do the things I love.

Luckily, during this process, I was very aware of myself and was able to transition through the thick of it with my wife's aid. It was a huge hurdle for me and one that I did not foresee.

Today, I don't game as often as I'd like but I would never want to face the cost of having that time again.

Thank you Dr. Mark and the topic contributor.

Yeah... after moving in with my girlfriend, my gaming hours have plumetted. She still can get annoyed at me for gaming, but I feel I'm doing a good job with taking care of responsibilities first (cooking, cleaning, couple time etc). But anyway, I think it's pretty immature for the husband to have tantrums about not gaming... I mean maybe he has some psycological issue here but really, if I'm too busy with life to game for a day or two I just think, no worries, I'll treat myself to an afternoon of gaming this weekend or whatever (and maybe let my gf know haha!)

My wife and I would never have made through my nine-year-old early years without Diablo II. No, a baby does not require constant attention. I think availability is the better word. Mostly, a baby just sleeps, making him perfect for Diablo II :) Of course, once he started scooting about, that was a different story. My gaming suffered seriously between the ages of 1 and 5, but once 5 hit, we had a new player . . . although we never could get him into Diablo II :(

Interesting article, this adds up with Dr. Mark's other articles about growing up.

I don't have a child and I even don't have a girlfriend right now, but reading this is very interesting.

I have a bit of a problem with the woman who wrote in here. While I agree that the husband here is acting like an immature child, with the way the wife said "My husband and I grew up with video games. It was alright until both of us needed to grow up for real. He joined the air force, and we had a baby" She was saying that the only people who play games are those that haven't "grown up for real". It seems that she is implying that games are strictly for children, and those adults that enjoy the hobby are immature. Maybe i'm wrong here, but tghat's what it seems like she's saying at the beginning.

"His needs becoming number three on the priority list, or lower if you have a pet"?

Is this a joke?

One more reason why i will never, ever want or have kids. Aside from the fact i just don't like children anyway - honestly, i will never see the appeal to "raising a family". Maybe i'm just hedonistic and selfish, but that's my life choice.

Honestly, it's articles like these that make me glad to be single. Companionship is nice, but i'm not willing to become some kind of zombified slave for it. Fuck that.

I thought the article itself was good, though. Dr. Mark is quite insightful and never seems to swing the blame either way. It's good to see he acknowledges that "growing up" can be hard for a lot of new fathers and that the addiction to gaming may be covering up some kind of mental disorder that would be best examined by a professional. I think a lot of people dismiss this when it's brought up, but i can speak from (relative) experience that this can genuinely be the case at times. I suffer from an anxiety disorder, and video games are the primary way in which i deal with it or hide it. As a side note, i have been seeing a therapist and working with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for about a year now. Honestly, i don't feel it's working and that leaves me a little scared - and dare i say, makes me recede further into my fantasy worlds. I think people need to be more brave in seeing if there is a mental issue behind it and try to deal with it as best they can. On the flip-side, people can over-react or expect too much from their partners "Oh my god, he plays that thing 4 to 5 hours a day, it's out of control" and try to change that about them or complain about it, which only makes the person in question more hostile.

I hope that woman's husband is able to deal with his addiction to video games in a healthy way and keeps that family together.

Jacob.pederson:
No, a baby does not require constant attention. I think availability is the better word.

This. Modern parents often pay too much attention to their babies/children. Babies want to be with you while you do what you do, not to be fussed over constantly.

It's hard to explain to brand new first time parents that they are only babies for a short while. I just had a baby in December, and my gaming has taken a hit, but I am slowly recovering. There are several games that I can play one-handed while holding my little one, and I can sometimes get both hands free if I use a carrier or when I put baby down for naps.

My husband's gaming took a hit, too. Anyone who has a hobby is going to find that having a child takes up some of the time one might want to spend on it; are they immature if they don't give it up completely? No. Maturity suggests finding ways to incorporate all the things you enjoy into your life while still taking responsibility for the things that must be done.

skyfire_freckles:
Maturity suggests finding ways to incorporate all the things you enjoy into your life while still taking responsibility for the things that must be done.

I totally agree. It's about balance, which is why I'm so discouraged by people who think putting yourself second (or even third) is so supremely negative. It's natural to feel resentful when you're not first, but the desire to always keep yourself ahead of the happiness and comfort of others is an immature and unhealthy philosophy. The flaw in it is made clear when the cynics say, "I don't want selfish kids because I'm just too selfish." They might as well say, "I would hate to be responsible for someone like myself." It's just as insufferable as people who only live for their children (or spouse, etc.)

That said, being a parent isn't for everyone, and I applaud anyone who decides it isn't right for them or their circumstances. Even so, that's not the situation for the subject of this particular letter.

Yeah I don't want to be a parent either. It's not really about the games it's about the time to myself in general, I need it and I seek it out quite a bit. I like spending time with people but I need to be able to control it. Well that's one of my reasons aside from the general lack of interest.

Also being number three on the list? That's disheartening, really disheartening even more so if your number 4 because of a pet.

Snip

Gralian:
"His needs becoming number three on the priority list, or lower if you have a pet"?

Is this a joke?

.

Yes, the pet thing was meant as a joke. But having a pet when you have a baby can pose special challenges, especially if the pet pre-dates the baby. If you get a pet after you have a baby---god bless you!

Sage advice Dr Mark. He really does need to make some hard choices.

That said, I hope he sees that a baby, while hard to work, is worth far more than any game!

mkline:

Gralian:
"His needs becoming number three on the priority list, or lower if you have a pet"?

Is this a joke?

.

Yes, the pet thing was meant as a joke. But having a pet when you have a baby can pose special challenges, especially if the pet pre-dates the baby. If you get a pet after you have a baby---god bless you!

By the way, getting a puppy while raising a 1 year old is very much like suddenly having twins, except the puppy gets potty trained a whole lot faster. Not doing that again.
Anyway, having gone/still going through this I found some portable gaming during nap time worked good for me. Of course I put a lot of my gaming habit on the back burner, dropped WoW, only played a couple of hours a night after everyone else went to bed, (making Dead Space even creepier), just had to make do.

I think everyone is missing what is actually the most important detail in this article.

-- mentioning ice station zebra and not listing Patrick Mcgoohan amongst the cast. --

I mean, I know you were seven and all, but still that is an almost inexcusable oversight.

OT - everyone needs to balance their lives with their responsibilities, I don't know what is expected from the father or what he is not providing (according to the mother) but it seems to be an issue of adjusting thier life structures to fit their new (child) situation.

Sutter Cane:
I have a bit of a problem with the woman who wrote in here. While I agree that the husband here is acting like an immature child, with the way the wife said "My husband and I grew up with video games. It was alright until both of us needed to grow up for real. He joined the air force, and we had a baby" She was saying that the only people who play games are those that haven't "grown up for real". It seems that she is implying that games are strictly for children, and those adults that enjoy the hobby are immature. Maybe i'm wrong here, but tghat's what it seems like she's saying at the beginning.

I got that feeling as well. Sounds almost like she resents him for doing it. She doesn't even say why he shouldn't be allowed to play 5 hours beside the fact she doesn't want him doing it.

Sutter Cane:
I have a bit of a problem with the woman who wrote in here. While I agree that the husband here is acting like an immature child, with the way the wife said "My husband and I grew up with video games. It was alright until both of us needed to grow up for real. He joined the air force, and we had a baby" She was saying that the only people who play games are those that haven't "grown up for real". It seems that she is implying that games are strictly for children, and those adults that enjoy the hobby are immature. Maybe i'm wrong here, but tghat's what it seems like she's saying at the beginning.

I agree with feeling like we need to delve deeper into the situation. She says that the husband throws a tantrum if he doesn't get five hours in. What exactly constitutes "tantrum" to the wife? I've seen reactions misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. There's always the possibility that she's reading too much into his reactions. Understandably, she now has a huge burden to take care of and wants as much support from her husband as well. Feeling left out by the husband as well as lack of sleep and energy from taking care of the baby can easily cloud responses to people's reactions.

She also states that they were both "addicted", but is this really the case? 5 hours may sound like addiction to one person and perfectly normal time to dedicate to a hobby to the next person. Again, we're not getting the full story.

I don't want to say that the husband's definitely wrong or that the wife's totally wrong. It's just that there needs to be more here than what we've been given, since it's only one side to the story. I totally agree with Dr. Mark that there needs to be open discussion between the two parties, but I just don't want to immediately brand the father as a "bad dad" without further investigation.

Well, having a child is the biggest responsibility a couple will ever have. I think there's a bit of a mix of HIM being a bit selfish/thoughtless about his gaming time allocation (is he using it to avoid the realities of parenting a newborn?), and HER emotional focus has just being severely and hormonally kicked into a maternal direction in a much stronger way than he could ever comprehend (imho), and now she's just 'not getting' his desire to shirk being a parent in favour of playing a dumb arse game ... (my interpretation of her thoughts, not my own). Definitely resenting him escaping into gameland and leaving her as a 'single' parent.

It's a balancing act, they need to communicate about how much game time is acceptable to both, bearing in mind if the child wakes up and goes nuts over something, as they tend to, the game time allocation has to be moved. Plus, 5 hours in one hit is pretty extreme with a baby that's probably going through a couple of feed/crap/sleep cycles in that time span.

It's interesting, being an old codger with grandkids, and having a mum who's in her 80's with 3 game consoles connected to the tele. I have to say that since console games arrived on the scene our family has had them and given them a fair hiding. However, the babies -> kids -> grandkids -> (GREAT grandkids in mums case) have and do come first. You can always turn a game off and come back later.

I snuggest hand-held games, he sould be able to keep an eye on the kid and still play. But on the main problem, the guy is use to having "His" time, and he become a problem when he doesn't come around. I think this is an old problem, just now that men are expected to join in with actually raising a child, this problem has now surfaced. Combine with that modern women work just as much as men, but little change in the income coming into the home, you have a witches brew of a problem in raising a child.

To say it simply; nether parent has been instructed how to balance them selves, then when they become adults they are expected to drop their old habits, and find themselves criticized for being in a position they don't know how to deal with.

StoryMode:
That woman needs to know her place, keep quiet, and make that man a sandwich....

oh god I am so just joking XD

You may be just joking, but that's something that us chicks on the internet or who game online hear daily, or even hourly.

I wouldn't say it's "offensive" but it's incredibly obnoxious and unoriginal, and if you had any respect for yourself or women you wouldn't bother with that drivel.

Ugh.
Another person talking about someone being "addicted to gaming".
Would it be better if he spent 5 hours a day watching sports, and spending THOUSANDS of dollars on tickets?
Or how about 5 hours a day on exercize, and purchasing THOUSANDS of dollars on equiptment?

Every human is "addicted" to something.

Most women are addicted to theyer apperance. They spend hundreds of dollars on creams, eyeliner, lipstick/lipgloss, and waxing. They carry most of those around with them! Lets not forget about EXPENSIVE dresses, "designer" jeans, and ugly beyond all belife handbags.

What about car addicts? They spend TENS OF THOUSANDS on old cars they cant even drive in the winter. They buy motorcycles they wreck and cripple themselfs on.

We need to get over this whole: "addicted to" phase were going through as a race. Everyone's addicted to money. Everyones addicted to being complemented. Everyone is addicted to complaining about things.

More on the OT: I myself am marryed. ((wife of two years and friend of 4)) Yes, at times she complains i play videogames to much, and its probably true. But we both are dedicated to making sure our relationship works. Addiction or not, video games arnt something to constantly blaim for bad things happening. Like that one chick who was playing farmville and killed that baby.
Is it the games fault, or the fact she was just a bad babysitter? What if she was watching TV insted? Would we be blaiming that, or just saying she was insane? What if she was on the phone?

Videogames have become a scapegoat. Like music was :/

Im a dad, and most of this is so far from the real world as it gets.
It all comes down to the individual and how they manage stuff.

A woman lost interest in her hobby and now demands the husband does the same for the sake of "growing up". Blaahhh.Donīt go away angry woman, just go away.

Jikuu:

I agree with feeling like we need to delve deeper into the situation. She says that the husband throws a tantrum if he doesn't get five hours in. What exactly constitutes "tantrum" to the wife? I've seen reactions misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. There's always the possibility that she's reading too much into his reactions. Understandably, she now has a huge burden to take care of and wants as much support from her husband as well. Feeling left out by the husband as well as lack of sleep and energy from taking care of the baby can easily cloud responses to people's reactions.

She also states that they were both "addicted", but is this really the case? 5 hours may sound like addiction to one person and perfectly normal time to dedicate to a hobby to the next person. Again, we're not getting the full story.

I don't want to say that the husband's definitely wrong or that the wife's totally wrong. It's just that there needs to be more here than what we've been given, since it's only one side to the story. I totally agree with Dr. Mark that there needs to be open discussion between the two parties, but I just don't want to immediately brand the father as a "bad dad" without further investigation.

This is the problem with hearing one side of the story after all.
I suspect she may be bitter over him being able to keep this time to himself when she has more willingly given it up at this point. Although if he did give up some of his free time she may be able to reclaim some of hers.

carpathic:
That said, I hope he sees that a baby, while hard to work, is worth far more than any game!

Got that right. A good baby can go for several hundred thousand dollars on the black market. :P

<ducks!>

jk.

The kind of husband who "...has fits, throws tantrums, and gets restless." sounds like a waste of space right off the bat.

I can understand blowing too much time on something to unwind. My personal vice is reading. When I'm stressed out or had a long day or even just want to relax, I'll pick up a book and switch off the world until I absolutely have to go to bed.

But, if I had a kid, that just wouldn't be acceptable. Maybe you need to just have it out with him. Set a time when he (and you) can game, trusting that the baby is being cared by the other. Roster your time so that he can see you're equally sacrificing, maybe. If you're a stay-at-home Mum, he may feel that you get free time during the day whenever the baby naps that he doesn't get.

Oh, and I laughed at how having a pet may push a husband further down the ranking. Heh. :D

Sutter Cane:
I have a bit of a problem with the woman who wrote in here. While I agree that the husband here is acting like an immature child, with the way the wife said "My husband and I grew up with video games. It was alright until both of us needed to grow up for real. He joined the air force, and we had a baby" She was saying that the only people who play games are those that haven't "grown up for real". It seems that she is implying that games are strictly for children, and those adults that enjoy the hobby are immature. Maybe i'm wrong here, but that's what it seems like she's saying at the beginning.

I agree that the husband is acting immature, but, replace videogames with watching football or drinking and suddenly he's not immature, just neglectful. Really? I mean, I've seen fathers who'll readily admit to spending the most of their leisure time down in the pub away from their families, and that's somehow a-okay because it's 'the thing to do'. It's dumb, but that's the way it is I guess. :/

I understand the wording comes from the fact that that majority (rare that you can actually use the word majority and actually be right) of video and computer games are basically childish or adolescent fantasies (not that that's always a bad think) on the surface and even in depth, but again, either videogames are mind-numbering addictive or the people who dole out and receive the most complaints about their habits maybe aren't really the sort of people who ought to be playing in the first place.

Good article though, husband's attitude is crummy, and I disagree with the wife's assessment of games in general, but interesting to look at.

Quitting anything that has become a major part of daily life, so much as to be called an addiction, is a very daunting task. There are many ways to tackle the problem, but I always prefer the slow and less stressful options before jumping into the deep end when trying to change something. See if he will at least try to cut half an hour of play time for a while, even if it means setting a schedule so he doesn't keep getting 'five more minutes' that lasts well past the half hour cut-out. This won't be easy if he plays MMOs and raids the entire time but mature gamers should accept the fact that real life should come first, especially if it involves a newborn.

If all else fails, try to get in touch with whoever he spends all that time with and explain that to them. Tell them that there is a newborn now and you would like it if your husband would spend a little more time offline to bond and do daddy things. They may understand that, or not, and the husband may get upset that you were telling his friends to tell him to do something less fun than gaming. It's still worth a try if he can't break the habit himself and needs encouragement from those he spends so much time with.

There's also the option of getting outside help to get it through his head that he's a grown up now and has something that shouldn't be pushed onto someone else. Family members, real life friends, or a priest (if you go to church) would probably have some story to tell about parenting. It should be kept as a last resort if more subtle methods get blown off.

Not sure if that all helps, but I thought some more ideas on how to talk to him would be nice.

What I think needs to be mentioned is: That if the father just stopped playing video games entirely, does his wife really think that he is just going to only care about the child? Of course he won't, his time would then be spent watching television, going out with friends drinking and other mentally (and sometimes physically) addictive practices.

I agree, this man is now a father, he needs to look after his child, sure he can play games a lot too but his child should be his first priority. The husband may be acting immature but he has just given up something that he has had with throughout his life, if someone told you to give up Television or Book reading you would definitely be getting restless and immature.

StoryMode:
That woman needs to know her place, keep quiet, and make that man a sandwich....

oh god I am so just joking XD

Moderator Edit: If you are thinking of making a discriminatory joke, then don't. They aren't welcome here.

You can make another baby in six months. It takes YEARS to make a decent game.

StoryMode:
That woman needs to know her place, keep quiet, and make that man a sandwich....

oh god I am so just joking XD

Moderator Edit: If you are thinking of making a discriminatory joke, then don't. They aren't welcome here.

Hey moderator are you kidding?? If they aren't welcome here then how come they're EVERYWHERE on this site! The featured content are the worst offenders, seriously!

While I don't read your articles as often as I should, they are always interesting and thought-provoking.

It's definitely important to have a good idea of what you're getting into before having a child. Upon reflecting upon my life and those of my parents, I feel I've come close to truly appreciating the gravity of parenthood, one which makes me wary of seeking it lightly.

It was an interesting article but I just think the guy enjoys playing video games which the girl seems to think equals playing with childrens toys. That is ridiculous logic. It would be like saying if a person likes watching movies they haven't grown up, because hey, they watched movies as a child.

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