I’ve heard about the Pokemon craze a few weeks ago when it was launched in the US. My kids, on several occasions, have talked to me about this game that got everyone outdoors, and some have injured themselves or trespassed private properties. Frankly, I didn’t really give it much thought. I have very little time to spare for games, and if I did, it wouldn’t be on a game that’s all about capturing virtual creatures.
But last Saturday, Pokemon Go was released in the Philippines. And suddenly, I found myself walking the streets of BGC looking for PokeStops and capturing Pidgey and Caterpie and other creatures at every corner. Why am I out on a Sunday night throwing Poke balls when I can be home resting or doing something more productive?
As I mentioned in my previous blog entitled “The Rebellious Teen,” we need to step into our children’s world. It it means playing their games, then I will get my gadget out. Years ago, it was Farmville and Plants vs. Zombies. I really didn’t care much for crops or defending my home from a zombie invasion. Today, it’s Pokemon Go. I don’t have any ambitions of completing my Pokedex or battling other Pokemon. What I am after is time with my kids. What I am after is learning what my kids are into and trying to enjoy it with them. What I am after is sending a message to my kids that I love them and value my time with them. This is what makes playing Pokemon Go worthwhile.
Parenting without a good relationship with our kids will only turn out frustrating for both us, parents, and them. I don’t think it is possible to parent our kids effectively if we don’t know how to connect with them. Our kids will be more open to listen to us if they know we take time for them. So instead of rolling your eyes at games like these that they are into, let us use them as opportunities to connect with them.