How to Deal With a Teen Who Plays a LOT of Video Games

teen plays too many video games

teen plays too many video games

Earlier this year, an online video went viral, showing an angry dad driving his lawnmower over a very upset young man’s video game collection. According to the on-camera, four-letter-filled yelling match (warning), the son was spending too much time playing video games and the dad was fed up. Before you pull out the lawnmower and shred a thousand dollars’ worth of Junior’s video games, read the tips below—they’ll help create a little more family harmony on the matter.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them…Then Beat Them

You may not see it right away, but the simple fact is that video games are fun. More than half of all Americans play video games on a semi-regular basis, according to the Entertainment Software Association, and if you’re telling your kids they are wasting their life on nothing, the hard fact is that you are wrong.

Video gaming is a cultural experience in the same category as watching TV as a family or seeing a baseball game with your dad. If your child is spend too much time away from the family to be able to play videos, move the video game console into the family room, load up a family-friendly game like “Just Dance 2015” or “NBA2K14,” and play as a family. Or let the kids play games online from the kitchen desktop computer while you make dinner. This way they’re out in the common area with family rather than holed up in their bedrooms.

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Gen-X Grandparents? You’re Not Alone.

Dear Mr. Dad: My 24-year old son and his wife are expecting their first baby in a few weeks. I’m really happy for him and I’m looking forward to meeting my new granddaughter. The problem is that I’m not even 50 yet and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m going to be a grandfather. I take good care of myself, look pretty good for my age, and just don’t feel like a grandparent. What can I do?

A: This is definitely not your grandparents’ grandparenthood, with its images of grey hair, round-the-world cruises, and senior citizen discounts. Unfortunately, no matter how young you feel, how much you work out, how great you look, or how much of your hair you have left, there’s still one thing that will make you—and everyone around you—painfully aware that you’re getting older: that adorable tot running up to meet you at the front door screaming, “Hi, Grandpa!”

Becoming a grandparent at a young age can be a real shock to the ego—something a lot of us would prefer to keep safely in the future. But, if it makes you feel any better, you’re far from alone. According to AARP (which used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons—and which you can’t join until you’re 50 anyway), the average age of first-time grandparents is about 47, which almost no one considers “old.” A recent study of GenXers (those born between 1964 and 1980) by MetLife found that only 27 percent would consider themselves “old” before age 60. 35 percent said “old” is 60-69, and 25 percent said they wouldn’t be “old” ‘til after age 70.

No matter how much you prepare yourself, once that first grandchild shows up, your life will change in some pretty serious ways. Here are some steps you can take to make the transition a little less jarring:
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From Me to WWE

cena vs rusev

So my dad, my sister, my daughter, my nephew, and I all lost our virginity at the same time. Really. Okay, it wasn’t THAT kind of virginity. The one I’m talking about is our WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) virginity. This past weekend, the aforementioned group of family members descended on Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara for Wrestlemania 31, WWE’s flagship event. It was, as it should be with other types of lost virginities, a huge amount of fun.

flintstones wweThe day started with a media viewing of “The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown” in the screening room where the post-game interviews happen at Levi’s Stadium. It had been a couple of decades since I’d last communed with the Flintstones and the Rubbles and it was great to see how little they’d aged. After that, lunch. Then, out to our seat for the big events.


As I kid, I’d watched WWF—the predecessor of WWE—and as an adult, I’d seen some actual WWE on TV so I thought I knew what we’d be in for, but I wasn’t even close. Sure, there were the wrestling matches—that much I expected. But there was so much more—and something for pretty much everyone.

andre the giant wweFor older fans, there was the introduction of the 2015 inductees to the WWE Hall of Fame, which included Kevin Nash, The Bushwhackers, Randy Savage, Alundra Blayze, Larry, Zbyszko, Tatsumi Fujinai, Rikishi, and Arnold Schwartzenegger. And of course there was the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which was won by Big Show (billed as “The World’s Largest Athlete) who tossed about 20 competitors out of the ring.
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Hard to Imagine Being Any Prouder of My Kids

tirzah brott pentimento

tirzah brott pentimentoMy oldeset daughter, Tirzah, just became an assistant photo editor at New York Magazine. Here’s a wonderful blog post about her work.tirzah pentimento 2

Experiments to Help You Better Understand Your Child’s Mind

Amber Ankowski and Andy Ankowski, co-authors of Think Like a Baby.
Learn to better understand your child’s developing mind.
Issues: Setting up simple research experiements to do with your baby; fun ways to get insight into what’s happening inside your child’s skull; the importance of talking to your baby; playing with reflexes; how music affects a child–before he or she is even born; many more experiments.