3 Reasons I Didn’t Let My Son Play Video Games
Many parents are shocked when they find out that Caleb is 14 years old and I never let him own video game systems. To this day, I do not let him download video games on his phone. Of course, this may seem extreme; however, raising kids that have a focused mind does not just happen. Friends, we must be extremely direct and intentional with our parenting in order to raise our kids to have impeccable manners, values, and character.
My decision to steer Caleb away from video games was guided by my gut feeling and intuition. While many of Caleb’s friends were spending hours upon hours on video games, my gut told me that this was not the direction in which I wanted Caleb to head. It seemed to me that many of these kids had distracted and dull minds. As a result of too much screen time, the kids seemed to be lacking proper communication skills and a genuine work ethic. These are some of the values I strive to instill in Caleb. Although I could write another book about how dangerous video games are for children, I will spare my beliefs for now. However, I do want to share three key reasons why I did not let Caleb play video games:
1) Focused Mind v. Video Games:
As a man that has always been driven by success, I knew that one of the gifts that I had to give my son was core training on how to develop a focused mind. There are so many people that are not reaching their full potential because they are living with a distracted mind. Both alarming and sad in the same vein, I was determined to not let Caleb become another statistic. We must learn how powerful it is to still the mind, to focus. There are heaps of people reading this article that could be prospective millionaires, within five years, if he or she would learn how to focus and how to apply this concentration to his or her goals…family, education, career, business, travel, etc. We must access our human capital and channel our concentrated and creative energy in order to reach success. My gut feeling was telling me that video games would dull Caleb’s mind and diminish his ability to master focus. Without video games, Caleb is routinely reaching results by practicing a life lead by a determined focus. I may have encouraged this lifestyle, but Caleb now embraces this choice as he realizes the immense impact it has on his creative life and business choices. In turn, his focused mind produced an organic Facebook post that reached 20 million views just last month! Caleb is impacting millions of people and he is only 14 years old. If we master our focus coupled with mastering our time, we will transform into our most efficient and most successful versions of ourselves, the people that I know we can be!
2) Time Mastery v. Video Games:
You see, friends, I STRONGLY dislike the words, “time management!” Time is as scarce a resource as they come; therefore, we do not need to manage time; we need to master it! What value does playing video games give to our kids other than hours upon hours wasted on something that will take them away from said mastery? Too many kids are graduating from high school and still do not understand the true value of time and how to master time. To put things into perspective, by age 14, Caleb has already read over 100 books, watched over 1,000 personal growth videos and has accomplished more than most 40 year olds simply because he invested his time in his human capital and skills that would give him a return. Some people refer to Caleb’s success as a lucky turn of events. Friends, we must distinguish, here, between luck and hard work. Caleb often looked like the nerd to his friends because he was reading Success Principles, while they were playing “Angry Birds!” Caleb’s success did and does not happen overnight, rather, through years of hard work to master and continue to master his time. People that master time understand the value of an hour. Moreover, time mastery leads us to produce actions that produce future financial and personal freedom so that you can live the life that you imagine!
3) Active Lifestyle v. Video Games:
The importance of an active lifestyle is two-fold: 1) it will curb childhood obesity and 2) it will lead to a more profound and proactive approach to becoming successful and developing the right habits necessary to obtain said success.
What in the h-e-“double hockey sticks” is wrong with our society? Childhood obesity is out of control and I hold the parents 100 percent responsible. We are raising a generation of inactive, uninspired, and lazy kids that just want to sit around playing video games, downloading the latest app, or watching TV. Not only is this extremely harmful to the physical and mental wellbeing of our children, but also impacts the development of and future success of our youth. An active lifestyle refers to the physical aspect of getting out in nature and exercising and taking a proactive approach to learn skills, values, and tools of success.
Our kids should be reading books, mastering the right habits, making money, starting businesses, and spending time interacting with their friends and nature rather than being glued to the TV. Thankfully, I grew up in a time when we had real human-to-human interactions and time spent in nature rather than staying in front of a computer, video game or iPhone all day.
The way in which I was fortunate to grow up greatly influences my approach to parenting Caleb. Today, for example, I am going to an outdoor event for two hours. Caleb has pleaded that he does not want to go because there is not a perceived or tangible return on investment for his time. I have trained him to think this way! Proud dad moment! However, I have insisted that he go because he needs to interact with people face-to-face to keep his mind and communication skills sharp. Besides, he needs some sunshine and to connect with other kids.
Back to my point about the physical aspect of an active lifestyle… our kids are growing up overweight, with diabetes, allergies, increasing number of autoimmune diseases and vision problems. I do not believe that this is a coincidence, rather, a direct correlation to our inactive lifestyle choices. Friends, we must not get complacent in teaching our kids the physical, mental, and emotional power that physical fitness has on our well-being. Back in my day (ha-ha!), Physical Education was mandatory for every single student to graduate. Now, they are doing away with this in our schools. This is devastating in itself, but should light a fire in us to take control and influence our children now more than ever. Our kids would get better grades, have healthier emotions, sharper minds and have better self esteem if they were more active and did more physical fitness rather than sitting around engaging in too much screen-time.
Friends, with these three key points in mind, there is no question that I am passionate about the subject and my approach to proper parenting! I am on a mission to encourage parents to wake up, to light a fire in them, and to teach them how to be more intentional in their conversations and actions, to instill more values, character, work ethic and the right mindset within their children. Friends, it is incredibly important to stick to your guns like I did when considering whether or not to let Caleb play video games. Caleb and I could not be happier with the choices I and we have made and have ZERO regrets, whatsoever! Friends, please consider our story and how it could be beneficial to your familial situation. Have a great day and do not hesitate to let me know how I can serve you.
Matt Maddix, master sales trainer, consultant and CEO of Matt Publishing, is a successful international speaker and master motivator. He has hosted over 120 live events with as many as 32,225 registrants.
During past events, Maddix has shared the stage with some of the greats in the world such as: Kevin Harrington, Gary Vaynerchuck, Darren Hardy, Greg Reid, and Glenn Twiddle.
In conjunction with traveling as a motivational speaker, Matt is the founder Maddix Publishing, My Health Coach, TextNinjaPro and Maddix Missions. He is also the author of bestselling books How You Can Have It All and Just Juice It.
In addition, Maddix is co-host of two internet talk shows—Morning With Maddix and Fuel for Success.
Matt is best known for his life strategies along with his sales and marketing success, but he is most proud as the father of 15-year-old celebrity superstar speaker, Caleb Maddix.
His son was recently voted in the Top 20 Most Motivational People in the world. Caleb has been featured in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc and interviewed on Good Morning Australia with over 8 million viewers. Caleb wrote his first book by age 12, Keys to Success for Kids and has already earned Six figures by age 14.
Matt lives in Los Angeles and St. Petersburg, Florida.