When Rules Get In The Way Of A Friendship

Minecraft_coverMaybe you remember that my daughter has asked me twice to write about something she would have like to have discussed. It was my ‘Like Tom & Jerry’ and ‘It’s Hard Work To Be Barbie’ post. Now yesterday my son inspired me to write a post. Well, you know, they both always inspire me but this one was very specific.

The last couple of times my son played Minecraft on his computer he was allowed to play online with one of his best buddies. And while they were playing they were Facetiming, which is basically a video call. Don’t ask me why they decided to Facetime as they had their eyes glued on the computer screens…

Now as it is with those digital games, you kind of get lost in them, especially when playing with a good friend. There are rules in our house and those rules not only state on which days he is allowed to play but also for how long and especially for how long in one go.

The other day we were a bit slack and let them play for longer. Much longer. They had heaps of fun and they won’t see each other for a little while so I thought it would be a good thing to allow him more time. He is usually pretty good with keeping to the rules and listening to us if we tell him to stop. We rarely argue about it. But that day, after he played for basically almost double the amount of time he got slightly upset when I told him that it is time to stop. He told his friend that he unfortunately has to stop and his friend was upset too. And when they were finally offline and phones were off too my son looked at me and said:

“Mom, this is a typical case of rules getting in the way of a friendship!”

For a moment I was not sure if he really meant it and was about to explain him how silly this is, when I saw his cheeky smile. He totally got me! Although I am sure there was a little bit of seriousness shining through…

Still it made  me think… Of course there is no way that rules have to be kicked out of the window just because our juniors decide that they “stand in their way of having a good time”. But it is understandable, right? And we were the same as kids!

I remember how annoying it was when we had to go home because it was time to. I remember when we were not allowed to go and play with the other kids because we had not finished our homework yet. And how stupid we thought it was when we were not allowed to play with certain games because our parents thought they were not appropriate. But some of our friends were allowed to. And we could not play with them…

All of this is a case of “the grass always seems greener on the other side”! I remember telling my parents that my friend is allowed to play it and the answer I usually got was “well you are not your friend!” or the “if your friend would jump off a bridge, would you do it too?” I am pretty sure you all have heard that too..

So we suddenly find ourselves on the other side. The side that makes the rules and is in charge for sticking to the rules. And we get challenged. Challenged by our kids who don’t understand why those rules are there in the first place. At least some of them seem totally strange to them. I mean why would you not be allowed to play Minecraft for hours and hours and hours. Maybe even over night? And why not constantly online and with all kind of strangers?

I guess it is still hard to understand that we made those rules to protect them. Rules are just not fun, especially when they stop you from having a great time with your friend. I totally understand that and I know that our kids will understand as well why there are rules.

After all the rules in our house are not the most difficult rules they will encounter in their lives…

12 thoughts on “When Rules Get In The Way Of A Friendship

  1. The very same over here. We have had similar rules regarding watching TV and playing games,… But the rules grow and change with the kids and also their schedules. Difficult meanwhile…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah Minecraft. My son has a new friend to play with now. His Daddy! My husband learned just so they could have a thing together. Pretty cool, right? Nope. Now I have to double enforce rules about game play! Catch is…WordPress is MY Minecraft.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The rules may be different, ie come home when it’s suppertime instead of no more electronics. But they’re still rules to be obeyed. Good for you sticking to your guns. When ours cranks about having to turn it off I shorten his time a bit the next time. Ahhh, the things they won’t understand until they are parents themselves! And they say parents just don’t understand…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is so true – we do our children a disservice if we do not give them boundaries, however, they need to be enforced with love and occasional flexibility. If your’s ever complain…mine didn’t even have a TV, much less online games. If they complained I explained to them that different parent have different values and priorities and that it is important to learn to set our own standards rather than following other peoples. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having been a “stepmom” for a while now to two Little People, I have come to realize how easy it is just to say: You go on and play. But that is no necessarily in their best interest. We can only hope that somewhere along the way they realize – as you and I have – the meaning and purpose behind those rules.

    Liked by 1 person

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