Raising boys, any kids for that matter, in this generation and culture is not the easiest task. I began parenthood with the intent to disprove any and all gender theories about kids psychological development. I was the neurotic mom who wanted her little girl to dress in blue jeans and her son to play with baby dolls, in an attempt to give them a well-rounded foundation to be whoever they wanted to be. So, my quest to disprove the gender theories ended rather abruptly when my daughter wanted necklaces, skirts, and high heels at 18 months. It came to a screeching halt when my son, devoid of any weapons, improvised and began using his fingers to destroy whatever imaginary bad guy he was defeating. Thankfully, God stepped in to my life and showed me how very important it is to both of my kids to connect and celebrate their gender. I have learned they need to see exactly how God made them so they can connect with their identity, Him, and others in a whole and healthy way!
One thing that was true of my neurosis, was that I did not want weapons to be a part of our world. I deplore violence and really wanted to keep it far from my kids. I have not entirely rid myself of all the neurosis (just ask my kids!), but I have matured as a parent and relaxed a bit. One piece that I still have a difficult time with is the violent nature of video games being marketed to adolescent boys. Recently my son found a game that he reasoned with me and logically convinced me it was an appropriate game for him to play. It is called Infamous. The game was designed on the premise that you make choices along the way and it determines whether you become a Superhero or an Infamous villain. It is sort of this generations version of video “Choose Your Own Adventure.”
I supposed that if he was zapping bad guys with electricity in an attempt to save the city, it was justified violence. He was playing this game the other day and we had some interesting discussion around decisions and choices and how they really lay out the path for our lives. The thing I never anticipated from the game was the open and creative life conversations we would have as a result. We’ve been able to communicate about good and bad choices I’ve made and the result of those. He’s been able to process his own decision-making habits and gain some insight into the proactive nature of decisions. I’m not trying to endorse the game or anything, just pondering the nature of even the decision to let him get the game and the results of that decision. Who knew a silly video game would open up a 12-year-old boy to have honest communication?
I wonder what track your current decisions have put you on. Are you on track to become a Superhero or Infamous? What kind of journey are you creating as your decisions “Choose Your Own Adventure” in life?