March 26, 2010

I'm conflicted about Jacob

I put this on the FIAR message board, but there are a number of you with older boys who read here and not there, so I thought I'd ask.

I have these visions of Jacob, who is almost 8, wanting to chase squirrels and build tree houses and play in the dirt and go fishing and ..., and ..., and... But he wants to play video games, with transformers and superheroes and read comic books. When he has an interest, it becomes close to an obsession whatever it is. (He was ALL about Thomas until 6 months ago; now that has been replaced by superheroes. Oh! How I want Thomas back!!) How can I steer him into the direction of the vision forum kind of boy, or is that just a pipe dream??

I have allowed him to play with Transformers and held him off of superheroes as long as I felt like I could, but that is all he is interested in. He was only recently allowed to watch the old Star Wars movies (as a family movie night), but we don't own any of them. He is allowed 1 hour of video games each day, 30 minutes of which is wii fit plus stuff. Anyway, I limit his exposure to these things, but his friends (that I can't avoid) are all into these things, so he gets dosed with them regularly. Do I just let him go through this phase???

He is a bit of the odd one out by nature of his personality anyway. He's quirky, not into sports (at ALL), and is emotionally young for his age though intellectually mature. So the culturally relevant things do give him something to connect with other boys his age.

Someone wrote, "I want my children to be producers, not consumers." Those words describe some of my thoughts perfectly.  Jacob used to play for hours alone, totally entertained, enough that people consistently commented on his ability to entertain himself. Now it seems he has forgotten how to entertain himself at all and always wants someone to play with him, or something to watch, even though I tell him no all day long.

Anyway, I'm rambling. But I'm confused and need some advice. Got any?


Paula said...

I am behind you in age, as Colton is 4 soon to be 5. But I would say keep doing what you are doing. How is it harming any child to be "emotionally" behind??? Our children grow FAR TOO FAST for my taste. Colton is also obsessed with superheros, which he is not allowed to watch. I just tell him he is not ready and God gave me the responsibility to take care of him and do what is best. This is best. Does he stop asking??? NEVER!! I have a very persistent child. But those are his boundaries. You are doing a great job and continue with what you know in your heart is correct for you and your family. Sure his friends will be advanced!! Colton's are. We do not own a gaming system. (Although we are getting him a Leapster with K/1st grade games in his Easter basket. ) He is worlds behind other 4/5 years already. I am okay with that because he is smart and wants to learn and soak up knowledge. Everything has it's will come. Trust your gut!!

Kjirstin C said...

So...I definitely do not have any wisdom to offer in this area, as my little one is so much younger than yours. However, I just wanted to say again that I think you're an amazing mom, and I am so encouraged by your continual desire to be sure you're doing everything you can for your two sweet little ones. Thank you for being such a great example!