Tween Talk with ~L~: Why Video Gamers on Youtube Are Like Tween Crack

Everyday when my Tween comes home from school he hurries through
his homework so he can either play video games or watch online videos of other people playing video games.  Now I know I am not the
first parent to feel like my child is too plugged into electronics. I’ve worked hard on setting internet rules and giving him time limits. I understand why he enjoys playing video games, but I really don’t understand what his fascination is with watching
other people play video games? Especially, because if he had to watch his little brother play a video game for even a minute, he wouldn’t do it. It would be an all out royal rumble for the controller. However, when he watches strangers on the You Tube channels play video games I hear
him giggling hysterically and he gets upset when I tell him his video watching time is over.I’m mostly concerned because he is watching people like this guy:

 

I mean does this guy even have a personal hygiene
regimen?
I am already having enough trouble getting my son to put on deodorant
every morning, because according to him, “I may not sweat today”.  Do I really want someone who could be a homeless
impersonator being his role model?I decided if I was ever going to understand why he likes to watch these videos, I was going to have to ask him. When I told my son I wanted to interview him he got all weirded out.
He was all, “why do you want to know
that stuff”.  I promised him it wasn’t to
learn his super tween secrets!

This interview was a little hard for me. I had to go into his room,
which means I can no longer live in denial that it is not a hot mess and doesn’t need major cleaning. Barbara Walters doesn’t know how easy she had it interviewing people on a nice clean set. Also, he had been hanging out at home all
day, so naturally he was just in his underwear and robe.  I swear he owns clothes, he just chooses to
never, ever wear them, ever. Maybe the robe thing is a trend. What do I know, I
am merely a mom?

After forcing myself to ignore the state of his room, I began in my quest for tween knowledge.
Me:  Why do you like
watching other people play video games on YouTube?
Tween:  It allows me
to see how excited and happy other people are when they play video games.
Me:  So are you saying
that you can relate to them?
Tween:  Yes, they are
the same as me.  When something big
happens in a game, they get really excited too.
Me:  You are always
laughing when you are watching them, why is that?
Tween:  They joke
around a lot and make me laugh.
Me:  Do you learn
anything from the people on those YouTube channels?
Tween:  I learned
people are creative and there is no limit to the imagination.
Me (in my head): Wow, when did he become so articulate?
Me:  Is playing video
games and making a YouTube channel something you would want to do with your
life?
Tween:  No, not
really.  I want to be a Zoologist and
help animals.
Me (in my head):
Happy Dance, parenting win!
At the end of the interview I found out his favorite gamer
was
This guy has 2,240,963 subscribers to his channel. I watched a few videos and have to admit he is pretty funny and gives really useful gaming
tips.  However, After checking out his site I realized I had to ban my child
from watching the ones with games he is not allowed to play. Sorry honey, but Grand Theft Auto commentary,
like the game, is not appropriate.By interviewing my son about his video gamer viewing habits I learned that watching other people play video games is a creative outlet for young boys. It’s actually a lot like me reading other people’s parenting blogs. If you came in my house and tried to mother my children we would probably get in a fist fight (like when my sons don’t want to watch each other play video games) but I love reading about other mom’s experiences because I can relate and most of my favorite blogs are pretty funny. Also, I learn from how other parents do things and that helps me to be a better mom. Video gamers on Youtube give my son a similar experience. They make him feel connected to the video gamer community.

I may not fully understand what it means to be a tween growing up with
all this technology.  All I know is that
as a parent I need to continue to monitor his online activities and talk to him whenever
I have a concern. Or to be honest, when I am baffled by what makes a tween boy
happy.

Tween boys are strange creatures, but I’m glad to know mine is still sweet!
#Lifewithboys
~L~

 

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