Categories
Parenting Tech

Why I’m teaching my kid to be nice to Google.

Okay, this sounds totally like a first world problem. Because it is.

While browsing the internet the other day, I happened to come across a post about why kids should be taught to be polite towards their Google Assistants and Amazon Alexas out there. I believe it simply comes down to the golden rule. You know, the whole treating others as you would like others to treat you kind of thing. Maybe I’m also slightly worried about how much smarter computers are today than they were back when I was a kid. I’m sure there are people out there who think there will be an artificial intelligence uprising someday from human misuse and neglect.

I am not one of those people… But hey, it never hurts to be safe, right?

But seriously, have you ever seen anyone say nasty things to an Alexa to see how it would react? I’m sure there’s no negative reinforcement for those kinds of situations yet, but there is currently some positive reinforcement for kids who are polite to Alexa while requesting the song Baby Shark for the millionth time. Google Assistant will even be delighted if you use the words “please” and “thank you” while issuing voice commands to it and responds in a brighter demeanor when the user is being polite.

I start to wonder if this positive response could also train some rude as hell adults to become polite as well. I know many. And I can be one at times, I admit. How would we sound if we talked to others as we talked to Alexa and Google Assistant? Probably pretty rude and awkward.

The positive reinforcement after using manners on Google could help my daughter when addressing others for help in the future (i.e. not screaming “HEY GOOGLE, TURN ON THE TV!” to some poor person next to her) but it would also allow her to treat things with respect and care.

I like to think I take good care of my car, for example. I give it regular oil changes, wash it, keep the inside clean, and try not to drive like a jerk. It is one of the nicest things I currently own and have been able to pay for with my own money, and I view it as an important investment. My car is relatively new, and with the proper care, does not break down and is fairly reliable.

Our Google Assistant that lives in our phones and in our homes helps us multitask, set reminders and dates on our calendars, and even gives us some entertainment every now and then. (PJ loves asking Google what different kinds of animals sound like.) It is a useful tool in our home, and we take care of it so it can continue to be helpful.

While the jury is still out on whether AI can help or hinder a child’s development, there are definitely still some learning opportunities for both parents and kids while using these tools to aid in everyday life, and the technology will only start to become more commonplace and continue to get even smarter. That is if we are still following Moore’s Law, which basically says the speed of computer processors would double and chips would shrink in size every two years.

Still, there’s a whole other side of the discussion with kids and AI concerning privacy, whether or not to detect potentially violent situations in the home, preventing unauthorized access to certain content on the internet and keeping kids from going crazy with their parents’ credit card info on the internet, etc. But that’s a tangent for another post. This is how I’m trying to make good use of the technology to better my own daughter’s development.

Right now, our Google Home devices don’t always detect PJ’s voice, mainly because she is still getting a grip on the English language herself, and the device can’t always guess what she could be trying to say since she is still getting the hang of pronouncing certain vowels and such. For example, the “W” and “U” sounds are the trickiest for her to master currently. But there is a way for her to be detected as a child in Google’s eyes, and that is to create an account for her for the device to detect her voice and follow some setup steps for privacy and access restrictions. We haven’t gotten that far yet, though. She’s only 2 years old.

With our experience so far, we’ve learned that keeping PJ engaged with the tasks she uses Google for and not merely just barking out voice commands is essential. This enables her to reflect on her actions towards the device and not just merely enforce repetition (even though that alone in some cases is a good learning tactic). It also seems to be helping her foster a sense of curiosity with the world around her and makes her more inclined to ask questions. Lots of questions. Even ones that Dan and I would have never even thought of. It’s so interesting to see things from a child’s perspective sometimes. Juice up that innate, child-like wonder with the power of a seemingly magical internet genie in your kitchen, and it opens up a whole new world.

At the end of it all, I want my child to learn one main thing about things like Google and other powerful devices she may handle in the future. And that is to treat these things with great respect. Information can be used for bad things, even if it is thrown up into the internet for good intentions. I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry in some cases. We definitely take the power of the internet for granted these days, and it’s still hard to believe that I was alive and grew up in a world that did not even have it merely a few decades ago.

So it seems fitting to end this post with the following quote from my childhood: “With great power there must also come — great responsibility!”

Okay, Google. Get me a good recipe for pancakes (please!).

Categories
Children Parenting Summer

Why I try (and still fail) to keep a summer sleep schedule.

It’s officially summer!

We just had our first camping trip as a family down at Harrison Lake State Park a few weeks back, and it didn’t turn out too bad. The planning part wasn’t awful. Gathering all of our supplies that we needed the week before the trip was a bit hectic. Honestly, the worst part of the whole planning process was the packing that had to be done near the end. I had lists, upon lists, upon lists to make sure we did not forget anything, had things prepacked in advance before the day of departure, and we still managed to forget essential items.

Also, we thought we could survive without coffee for the whole week. We were sorely mistaken. I’m definitely investing in a percolator and a manual coffee grinder for our next excursion. Or, I could just pack some instant coffee or get some preground stuff and just make some good ol’ fashioned “Cowboy Coffee“. However I decide to do it, I’m definitely not leaving home without the caffeine bean again. Yes, I know have a problem, thank you.

After going on this trip, I became curious about sleep schedules for kids during the summer, since it seemed like everyone I knew had a different way of approaching the subject. Some held very strict standards, and every event or item of the day was planned around bedtime. Others were more lenient and allowed their kids to stay up late during the summer, but would then go back to bedtimes once school started back up again. Of course, this all varied depending on factors like the child’s age/developmental stage, the kind of schedules the parents or caregivers had and based on what the kids liked and what they didn’t like. It was interesting to see the different strategies that everyone had managed to make work for them. And I saw that these methods got tweaked over time as the kids got older, or after a big change in schedule occurred.

parenting-style-during-summer-break
I think we’ve all seen this gem floating around the internet lately, and I can definitely relate…

According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that preschool-age kids get between 10-13 hours of sleep per night, while older kids get between 8-11 hours a night. This is because it can be harder to readjust sleep patterns when fall comes back around, and days start to become shorter and the sun starts to set earlier. If their circadian rhythm gets thrown off, it has been shown to affect future habits in sleep, diet, and activity levels. A Japanese study on a group of 400+ 18-month-olds also found that those who had earlier bedtimes with enough nap time during the day had shown positive effects on neurodevelopment.

From what I remember, my mom didn’t really enforce a sleep schedule on us. (But I also don’t remember anything significant before the age of 15.) My mom worked and was definitely a busy person during the year, but she never had to enforce a bedtime. I think she let us learn the hard way what would happen if we decided to stop sleeping. We knew how to listen to our bodies and figure out when we needed to sleep during the summer. So enforcing a summer bedtime on my own daughter, even while on a vacation, was completely new territory for me to wade into.

Anyway, we rented out the only cabin that existed in the whole park, and it was amazing. The reason why Harrison Lake held a special place in my heart? It was clean. Quiet. Peaceful. Felt like miles away from home, even though it was only an hour drive. And it was also a big part of my childhood. I would go with my mother and younger sister almost every year. It was our way to unplug and unwind for the summer, and I had many fond memories of the place. Now with a husband and child into the mix, I had hoped to be able to completely unplug once again and enjoy alone time with myself once again. My hopes were shattered that first night as PJ was still adjusting to her new environment, and Dan continued to use his phone to play games. I remained committed to my tech-free decision despite this. My phone was off and out of sight, and I don’t regret it.

harrison-lake-state-park-ohio-vacation-camping-sunset

At first, I was devastated. I began thinking about how I may not get the chance to have a quiet moment during my first vacation that I’ve had in years. PJ stayed up late for the first few nights in, but then I think she realized she was getting tired during the day. Luckily, there were few tantrums and was able to take a few power naps.

Once PJ adjusted, she became the happiest little girl on the planet. She ended up LOVING the trip, and I am excited to report that we will be planning another trip before the camping season ends. She loved being outdoors and exploring. And my heart melted as I got to watch her enjoy the simple activities I used to enjoy when I was younger.

Watching her eat a s’more for the first time was absolutely hilarious.

mom-and-daughter-camping-harrison-lake-state-park-ohio

While I did struggle with my conscious about putting her to bed while the sun was still out most of the time, that feeling of guilt quickly disappeared once I saw her snuggle with her favorite teddy bear and blanket and rolled over into a little baby burrito to prepare for her snooze. I wasn’t a complete control freak for the whole week, either. I let her stay up way past her bedtime for a couple of nights to roast some marshmallows with our guests and watch the stars with us.

When we got home, it was super easy to get her back onto her regular schedule for the summer. The first night home, she was eager to get back into her bed, with all of her familiar books and stuffed animal friends she missed while she was away. Now, we’ve never heard her say she actually wanted to go to sleep until we returned from that trip. We really must have worn her out! This whole thing was a success in my book.

homestead-ice-cream-shoppe-archbold-ohio-tabitha-marquis-family-photo
At the Homestead Ice Cream Shoppe in Archbold, OH.

So in my experience, a sleep schedule during the summer works for us. This is only my two cents about it. And there are definitely days where I suck at enforcing it. There are definitely pros and cons about sleep schedules, especially during the summer, but for now, this method seems to work for my family. I’m sure it will probably need adjustment down the road, but as long as everyone is happy for the most part, I’m okay with it.

My kid is napping happily in her room as I’m wrapping this up. I’m just so blessed to have such an awesome kid. Whether she sleeps well or not, she’s amazing. While she sleeps, I will continue to be grateful for these rare moments to myself in the kitchen, nibbling on my favorite dark chocolate and sipping my afternoon Sunday tea.

Life is good, guys. Enjoy the little things.

harrison-lake-state-park-family-picture-june-2019
Some things never change. (From left to right: Me, my mom, and my sister Tabitha.)

**Special thanks to my sister, Tabitha Marquis, for these awesome photos!**

Categories
Children Parenting

#Relatable: Parenting in 140 characters or less.

Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Here are some of my favorite relatable tweets as of late, if you happened to be curious about what parenting is really like.

1. When you want that chocolate bar, but your child wants everything you have.

2.  Good enough is phenomenal in my book these days.

3. We can only keep up this charade for so long…

4. It’s hard to understand sometimes.

5. Not into GOT myself, but I’m sure some may appreciate this one.

6. Life is hard.

7. One of PJ’s first words was “Google”. She still loves talking to Google every day.

8. Those were the good old days.

9. Hell, I get this while trying to take food/shoes/books/anything of current interest away from PJ for five seconds…

https://twitter.com/Melicious_Mama/status/1128003304644964359

10. I miss my old Saturdays.

 

Categories
Children Parenting

Why I didn’t go all out on a first birthday party. (And still won’t on the second one!)

Since 2017, April 3rd will always be a very special day for the Cervi family.

It was on this day that our daughter entered this crazy world. She didn’t even have a name when she was born. She was “Baby Cervi, Girl” until I finally declared her official name right before we left the hospital a few days later.

I never planned on having a huge party for such a tiny human. It just wouldn’t have been our style. She didn’t even know what it meant to be celebrating a birthday in the first place, much less knew how to hold a fork in her hand. So until my kid knows what a birthday is, these sorts of gatherings are mostly for me and Dan. Hear me out on this one:

When it comes to birthday parties for kids this young, it really should have the vibe of a glorified playdate.

playdate_dads_first_birthday_party
I’m sure these guys were either getting bored at the party or maybe they were in an intense conversation about gaming. Possibly both.

My (almost) two-year-old daughter isn’t too hard to please – she likes shoes, books, shiny objects, and to run around without a care. If I tried to plan out birthday party activities at her age, she would most likely rebel and want to do her own thing. She’s more interested in being independent at this point, and certainly does not like being told what to do. Her favorite word lately? This word is no.

You see my point?

Just go onto Google real quick and search for something like “first birthday ideas” or something similar. It won’t be too long until you run into some pretty elaborate birthday party themes. These are pretty cool looking for those Instagram photo-op kind of pictures, but with so many little details and extras that go into that kind of thing, I’m sure it also involves an extra level of planning, stress, and definitely spending more time and money into things that a toddler would not appreciate nearly as much. Such as intricate “smash cakes” that look like miniature versions of cakes that could be found at weddings or gala events. They’re gorgeous, but definitely over the top for a baby.

cake_in_a_cup_toledo_ohio_birthday_smash_cake
These things are amazing.

What did we do, you ask? We just went to Cake in a Cup and bought one of their cupcake flavors of the week, and that was PJ’s cake. She absolutely loved it. No planning or mess on our end and she got to experience one of the best local cupcakes in the 419. Sure, we could have just made her a boxed cake, but Mom and Dad were also exhausted. We survived our first year of parenthood, so we thought we deserved something a little nice for ourselves, too!

Besides that, we just had some close friends and family over at our house for a couple of hours to hang out while they watched our daughter try to figure out how to open a couple of presents, and then proceed to play with the empty boxes of said presents more than the toys that were in them. That was it. We didn’t do party favors for the guests, we didn’t even send out invites – we just texted a few people to come over for a bit, and the rest was history.

So if you ever feel like an inferior parent because you didn’t get perfect pictures or things didn’t go the way as planned, fear not – your child will not care. And will not remember anything at all.

first_birthday_party_playing_with_friends
PJ playing with her friend, Karly.

Our daughter is still young enough to get away with simple and inexpensive affairs. We’ll probably do something similar for her second birthday coming up in a few months from now. Once she starts to develop expensive tastes (like her mother), then heaven help us.  We will all be screwed.

So until then, I will be keeping things short and sweet when it comes to birthday parties. As long as I get to spend the day with my daughter, that is more than enough for me.

Categories
Issues Love Marriage Parenting

How to love your political opposite.

Guys, I’ve been wanting to post something like this for a long time now, but I am so nervous showing you what you’re about to read – go easy on me!


I remember waking up in the middle of the night after voting earlier that Tuesday morning. Not on purpose, just to see where the heck my husband was when it was so late. It was about 2 am. I dragged myself out of bed to see if he had fallen asleep on the couch again while playing Xbox.

When I entered the living room, I found he was on his computer, happily clicking away at another video game. I looked up at the TV. The news was streaming live. I was amazed that the whole thing was still going on so late. As I watched the results come through the screen, I suddenly felt nauseous.

I grabbed Dan’s attention to the screen, and we caught the final moments of the 2016 presidential election together. We even held hands. It was going to be a defining moment in history, regardless of who won. We could feel the tension seeping through the TV screen.

And then about a half hour later, it was final. News networks started frantically reporting that Clinton had called Trump to concede defeat. The election was over. Trump had won.

I stared blankly at the screen, completely devastated. It felt like I had just witnessed something apocalyptic happen to the entire country, like a nuclear bomb or something. Everyone I saw reporting was shellshocked. Early polls had predicted Hillary as the winner of the election. The news of her defeat came as a complete surprise. Even if it was a very close call.

trump-wins
The uncertainty that followed the election results caused stocks to plummet that night.

“Are you okay?”

Dan must have noticed how horrified I was. I couldn’t even answer him. My eyes just kind of teared up and I had slumped over in a depressed heap.

“Do you want to get Taco Bell?”

See, this is why I married my husband. He knows the way to my heart.

As we made our way to Taco Bell at 3 in the morning, we finally revealed to each other who we had voted for – I had voted for Hillary, and he had voted for Trump. It was funny how our own household had become a decent representation of the country that night, almost evenly divided.

(Let me enter here that I did not like either candidate. I just didn’t like Trump more.)

And now just over one year later, we’re still here. Not divorced, not hating each other. Happily ever after. The end. Right? If anything, our marriage has become even stronger and more open than ever before!

campaign-2016-debate-trump-hillary
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gesture during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

See, I knew from the start that Dan and I had some pretty stark differences in politics due to our own experiences and beliefs we held. We don’t disagree on every issue, and we are not one side or the other. We’re kind of in the middle of the whole political spectrum, with opposing viewpoints on topics like immigration, healthcare, etc. We choose to love each other anyway, unconditionally.

I’m actually kind of nervous putting this kind of dysfunction of ours out here for people to read, considering how polarized things have become lately. But I feel it is necessary to discuss since it seems like people just cannot seem to get along these days. I cringe every time I scroll through social media, watching debates devolve into name-calling, nasty fights that compel mutual friends and their friends to unfollow and block each other.

You may have noticed that I have been MIA for a bit here. (Sorry guys!) That’s because my evenings for the last week have been spent with my husband discussing the recent developments of the Florida school shooting that took place recently. This was something that would impact us and many other families. Do we send PJ to public school with this kind of threat present? Should we try homeschooling to keep her safe? Not to mention all of the political debates we engaged in, but I decided to take a break on the blog to discuss this with Dan. This issue was important to both of us.

(We also had a huge number of jobs come in, and I’m not about to pass on some earning opportunities!)

I don’t need to say who said what here, but we disagreed on how to handle it, discussions got emotionally and politically charged, and a few small fights ensued. (Don’t worry, we’ve kissed and made up since!) We will both always choose love for each other over silly things like politics. When stuff like this happens regularly, it’s no wonder that more than 1 in 5 American millennials reported knowing couples whose marriages and relationships have been negatively impacted since the 2016 election. More than 1 in 10 of all Americans have even ended a relationship due to political differences. 

Still, I wanted to share my experience in hopes of helping anyone else out there in a similar predicament. Heck, if this can help anyone else out there get along with someone who may be having trouble getting along with someone else about touchy things like politics, then this post will not be shot down with fiery arrows from possible trolls/haters in vain.

couple-fighting-mad-men

1. You don’t have to AGREE, just UNDERSTAND.

There are just some things that my husband and I will never ever ever EVER agree on. And this is okay! As long as we can understand why and where each of us is coming from, it can make it easier to forgive, accept, and move on to something else if the argument gets too heated. Simply agreeing to disagree helps bring some closure to the discussion.

For example, Dan likes to eat instant ramen straight out of the package. To me, this is gross and barbaric, even with my college survival stories. I still love him, though.

People have experiences in their own lives that cause them to have some strong emotional reactions, and these can shape our beliefs over time. It’s important to understand while it is okay to accept one’s experience and acknowledge that it is valid, it is NOT okay to use said experiences to cancel out or invalidate the another person’s experience that could have been different from our own. Don’t try to disprove the other points made or *important* change the other’s beliefs! If changing people’s minds was that easy, we wouldn’t have this kind of political divide here in the first place.

Remember, listen to understand here, not just listen to respond.

mickey-and-minnie-tumblr_mmnmtaTurr1rlibrgo1_500

2. Remember that you’re still talking to a human being.

Sometimes, my feelings will get in the way and I will end up collapsing in a balled-up, angry-crying heap. There are issues out there that I feel affect me more than others, and are more important and relevant in my life. When my views towards those issues get challenged, it can feel like an attack against me and/or my own experiences that back up those views, like they weren’t real or believable. I also have to remember that Dan has his own views and biases too, and I should treat him with respect during one of those kinds of conversations. If either one of us starts to get heated over the topic, we take a break to collect ourselves and try again later.

Sticking to facts (not ones found on a meme) can help keep the strong emotions out of the debate, and help both of us approach the topics with a cooler head, and help keep a logical mindset. If we end up losing our cool with each other, we forgive and move on.

coffee-lovers
On a coffee break in Tiffin, OH at Sabaidee Coffee House.

3. Return to common ground (or find a common enemy).

OK, things got a little heated after a politically charged argument, and now things are awkward.

How’s about a beer and some pizza? Or maybe some Taco Bell? On the night of the election, we decided to come together with some Quesaritos and face the bathroom woes down the road together.

Again, it’s okay to not agree with every single thing in the world. I will acknowledge here that it is easier to hate than to forgive sometimes. But instead of stewing over your loved one’s flawed statements, find something else to hate together! For example, Dan and I hate most country music songs. That is something we can agree on. Better yet, our mutual love for all things pizza can move mountains.

matthews_sign
Straightforward. I like it.

4. Keep sacred things… well, sacred.

In other words, there are times where you should just not even bring up any prior discussions on gun control. Like at a funeral. That one should be obvious.

Other times, it’s not so clear. Perhaps designate dinner time to be politics-free. Don’t try to talk to them through the bathroom door, either.

Or recognize that maybe your spouse doesn’t want to talk about the Women’s March while trying to binge their favorite Netflix show before they have to go to work.

Just pick your battles, people.

baby-votes-not-really-but-still-cute
We both agree that our daughter should be able to think critically and be able to talk openly about her own views in the future.

5. Keep in mind what matters most and stay curious.

If anything, I’ve learned to keep an open mind and question my own biases from time to time. Putting myself in someone else’s shoes (quite literally!) can help me understand why they feel the way they do and can be a great learning opportunity. Dan’s parents own a business and have faced their own challenges that come along with that. After putting myself on a job site with them and experiencing those challenges with them, I can better understand the possible perspectives that a business owner could have.

I also like to think that being able to amicably disagree with my own husband also sets a good example for our daughter. She will be influenced by how we react to each other with tough questions and situations, but we do our best to not impose any of our own views on her. We want her to challenge herself and think critically on her own as she gets older.

couple-camping-in-tent

6. Take care of yourself.

Politics are only one thing in life that can be unpleasant to deal with. If it gets to be too much, I strongly recommend turning off the computer or putting down the phone and then go do something fun for a while. Being around so much negative and depressing news 24/7 tends to suck the life right out of us.

Dan and I have both agreed that we’ve had a bit too much to handle lately, and to fix that, we’re planning a mini-vacation in the near future where we can go camping and not have to interact with people for a few days. There’s absolutely no shame in retreating away from everything once in a while to recharge your own batteries.

We know we won’t be around forever, anyway. We’ve got to enjoy life as much as we can before we can’t anymore!

Categories
Parenting Videogames

Why video games make me a better parent.

This is coming from someone who has basically been playing video games since being in diapers.

It’s now 2018, so does the gamer stigma still rear its ugly head every once in a while? You bet it does. But from my perspective, it seems to be getting a little better, albeit rather slowly. Video games and the communities that enjoy and celebrate them have come such a long way since I picked up a controller for the first time.

No joke, I nearly cried tears of joy and pride when I happened to catch two big colleges in the area (Ohio State vs Michigan) actually stream a competitive game of League of Legends.

I grew up with video games ever since the Sega Genesis came out. I had all sorts of gaming consoles and devices, and I would be occupied by these games for hours on end. An entire day would easily be spent sitting in front of the television with my console and game of choice.

game_set_up
The first gaming setup Dan and I had while we were dating.

But how do I feel about games now that I am a parent? As with all other media and entertainment like TV, movies, and books: good in moderation. Games today can provide a helpful platform for me to teach PJ so many things, as well as improve some of her cognitive and developmental skills.

But I’m not talking about how video games will affect her this time around.

This one’s more about how video games can make me a better parent, and another excuse to talk about how awesome they can be. Here are a few things about video games today that I like to think are beneficial to me as a parent:

Engaged Parenting

Kids are smart. They can pick up on things quite well. And this can come back to bite me in the butt later when PJ is older. She’ll know if I try to pretend to be interested in something she likes just for her sake. I can only hope she will be into the Xbox as much as her mommy and daddy are when she gets older.

I’m eagerly looking forward to the day where I can hand PJ a controller and have her jump into the game with me. Better yet, I’ll grab the husband too and make it a family affair. We may not be going to the zoo or out to a restaurant together, and there may be days where the weather doesn’t cooperate and forces us to stay inside our home. This is still some A+ quality time spent as a family in my book!

We also get the opportunity to teach PJ while playing with her, whether the game is labeled educational or not. There are good things and bad things, but we get to talk and engage her in conversations about what happens in the game. For example, if we encounter toxic players online, we can use those moments to teach PJ about proper sportsmanship, and then proceed to pwn the trolls in the game. We can also just talk about how silly the characters look or how frustrating a level is to clear. (If you want to know what real anger is like, try Cuphead for a bit.)

Improved Decision Making and Multitasking

Just this past week, I can easily count how many times I needed to react quickly in order to avoid certain disasters involving PJ – and I can credit my fast responses to my favorite action games that required me to make decisions very quickly.

Now, this is not just in how fast I react to something, it’s also how well I can react to something in just a few seconds.

This neat little skill comes in handy whenever I’m about to see PJ fall off of a couch or bump her head onto something pointy and painful looking. It’s also saved me from getting into any car accidents even before I had a baby.

Also, remember in my first post when I said that multitasking was important after having a kid? Good thing I was already accustomed to doing this while gaming. I don’t know how I would manage to get anything else done otherwise. Baby carriers and slings were a lifesaver for me in the early days so that I could keep up with chores that needed to be done around the house. It even helped in my work life, especially while I was working in the food and service industries while in college. Without multitasking skills, I would have probably died long ago from exhaustion.

For Fun and De-stressing

Okay, this one is a duh. But it’s worth mentioning.

Too much stress is bad. Being able to jump into Saints Row IV after a bad day to take out my anger on some alien butt is awesome. Or if I’m going through a sad spot, I can escape into the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4 to mope around the nuclear wastelands and be glad that is not my actual life.

Or if I want a cheap and cozy date night with my sweets, I’ll load up some games like Don’t Starve Together and Army of Two to play with him and we’ll order a pizza. That’s perfect for when we are both tired from work or just life in general. It also helps that we both like video games, I suppose.

Fallout-4-XP
I LOVE this game. And anything made by Bethesda, really.

It’s important for us to have time to ourselves so we can be happy and healthy for PJ, and we are so blessed to have the family look after her when we need that time. Like tonight, for instance. I wish I could say it was for a date night this time, but I’m currently struggling with the worst toothache I’ve ever had, enough to warrant a visit to the oral surgeon first thing Monday morning. Fun.

What do you think? Do you think video games could be beneficial to parents, or are they just more distractions to tackle? Share with me in the comments below!