The J-Man Turns 8: Let’s talk about video games and ADD.

For birthdays, we like to put the gift(s) for the birthday boy out on the kitchen table so they can open them very first thing in the morning.  Do you see the sheer joy on this child’s face??
playing his new game



He was giving me high-five for buying such a great present.  : )  I never saw how much he looks like Alan until this picture!  Wow!
  I think we made Joshua happier this year than we have made him in a long, long time.  I mean he’s eight, so he’s pretty much always happy.  I guess a better description would be to say that we made him more off-the-charts-excited than ever!
  Last year he wanted a Nintendo DS because he was “the only boy in the 1st grade” that didn’t have one.   Classic, huh?  We opted out of the DS craze simply because we already have a Wii, my tablet, my computer, plus Alan’s iPad, and after a while it’s just like enough already!
Let’s talk about video games.
  We decided to get him what he wanted this year, even if it is….yet another video game craze.  He got Skylanders Swap Force for the Wii.  We don’t normally allow them to play 10+ rated games. There are several reasons for this, but most importantly they just aren’t age appropriate. When you have a house FULL of little boys, it REALLY matters that you do not allow violence and sex to enter your television screen.  They will get enough of that in time.
  No, most 10+ games do not have “sexual innuendos”–except I have witnessed a bit from Indiana Jones and Catwoman and Batman.   Seriously, little boys don’t need this to deal with yet.  
  And the violence thing–I cannot afford to encourage violence.  I am no fool.  Not only do I have a degree in psychology, but also there is common sense.  Little boys–and sometimes grown-ups too–like to copy things they watch on t.v.  If they are constantly inundated with violent games, you will see them acting it out too.  We witnessed it first hand here, and that was when they lost all their Lego Wii games, which are also rated 10+
   Studies have shown that young boys were more likely to be affected by the cartoon violence than adults or even teenagers are, hence the 10+ ratings on the games.  
  …….This soap box rant has been brought to you by April.  ; )
  So……..enter Skylanders.  I thoroughly checked this game out before it was purchased for our children.  It seems okay to me.   We will give it a go, and if hitting and kicking see an up-tick, Skylanders will also disappear.
  Meanwhile, even without video games, boys do love to “wrestle” and ninja kick.  These are just facts of life when raising little men.
Enough about video games, let’s talk about my 8 year old:  Joshua!
  I just adore my first born, and why wouldn’t I?  Yesterday it was still early, we were running late, and my nerves were frazzled.  Caleb fell, and I might have said something a little less than sympathetic, but I’m not sure that he even heard me, as I was upstairs.  Joshua swooped in, asked sweetly, “Hey, are you okay?  Let me see.”
  Don’t ever let them fool you.  They may fight, as most brothers, and siblings in general, do, but they adore each other.  Caleb idolizes Joshua, and Joshua loves the attention. He believes that Caleb is the funniest person there is.
  Age seven was a big year for Joshua.
-He broke his arm.
-He learned to ride his bike.
-He played baseball.
-He started scouting.
-He learned to read well.  (I credit his 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Ashton, with that).
-He got a new baby brother.  Joshua adores all of his brothers and watches after them devotedly.
Our latest Joshua news:
  This was hard to take.  We’ve been pushing this off for a while.
  Yesterday was my conference with Joshua’s teacher.  She is a very experienced, likable, well respected, and thorough educator.  I could not be happier that he is in her class.  I believe she’s been teaching for over 20 years.
  I wasn’t too worried about Joshua’s conference.  All of his work that he’s brought home from school has been pretty good.  He enjoys reading.  He’s a great speller.  He’s well behaved, and I just see no signs of struggling.
  Oh, the bliss of ignorance!!!
  Joshua’s teacher,  we’ll call her Mrs. D., said that Joshua’s been having so much trouble paying attention that his is one of the desks that she has to frequent the most.  She can teach a whole lesson on something, and it seems like he never heard a word that she said.  The whole class can move to the rug for “rug time”, and Joshua is still sitting at his desk, unaware that the class has moved.
  He isn’t talking or drawing.  He’s just sitting there, daydreaming.
  She said it’s surprising that he isn’t behind.  Most kids with this sort of attention problem do not do well in school.
  She said she has to give him a heads up that she’s going to call on him in a minute, just so that he’ll know to listen to the question and clue in to what the class is discussing.
  She said that he must be brilliant to be doing as well as he is and not be listening to anything that’s going on.
 Sigh.  Sigh. Sigh.
  We’ve known he had a little bit of a problem since kindergarten.  His kindergarten teacher voiced this concern as well, but it was so early on, I had hoped he’d grow out of it.  I didn’t realize it was still this big of a problem.
  We’ve also seen it in team sports.  That’s one reason team sports is not his thing.  He’s very athletic, but he can’t even pay attention to the game.  Once the whole baseball team came off the field, and little Joshua was still out there, not even noticing that the inning had ended.  : /
  Mrs. D. said I should talk to his pediatrician about it.
  This had Alan and me feeling pretty devastated.  Mrs. D. is concerned that once school gets harder and more advanced, Joshua will fall behind.
  Today I took John David to his four month appointment–he’s doing great–and while there I picked up the ADD/ADHD questionnaire for the teacher and me to fill out.
  I also went online for the few minutes I could keep my eyelids open last night and read about the signs of ADD.  He has ALL of them, except for “bad behavior.”  He doesn’t like to get in trouble.  Thank goodness for that!
  Redeeming qualities of ADD kids:  They are imaginative and  creative.  They can pay attention quite well to the things they are very interested in:   like his preschool obsession with animals and his current obsession with Skylanders.
  I’ll keep you updated on this whole ADD thing!  If any of you have any experience in this that you think would help, PLEASE SHARE!
In other news……let’s talk about babies!
John David!
  Thankfully, we have a new pediatrician this year that love.  I saw her today for JD’s four month check-up this morning.
His stats: height:  26 in.:   81%
weight:  19.4 lb.    99%   Ha!
  She said he looks great.  He’s fighting a bit of a cold and has a 99 degree temp though.
…..And now he’s crying!  I better go!  Remind me to tell you the story of his appointment this morning.  It was an interesting 3 hours…. I guess that’s another thought for another day!
8 years of Joshua!
2 months


5 months


~18 months


3 years, with Caleb  (2)
Best friends!  I love that about them.  It just kills them when the other one has a playdate without them. Whoever is left at home just dies of boredom!


3 1/2, on the Smithsonian Carousel
Joshua’s 4th birthday


age 5, with cousins Jacob and Madison, and of course Caleb


 age 5, on Daniel’s birthday!
age 6
age 6 1/2
age 7, with cousin Wesley (4 months)
…..and with John David at 4 months
8 wonderful years!  I’m so THANKFUL for this darling boy!


Read more about our journey with ADD. Click below:
Strategies I use to teach kids with ADD




  • Anonymous

    We too are so thankful for Joshua. He definitely looks excited about his birthday present! I am so glad he is such a loving and caring big brother (kind of like a mini-parent). In times like these it is reassuring to know our Heavenly Father will never desert us. Thank you for sharing the post. Love, Daddy-O

  • First off – I love skylanders and I was so happy to hear they are a great hit!!! Both my boys (almost 6 & 3) love it.

    Secondly – lovely pictures !!! Such a happy boy and I love that he is such a great big brother!

    Thirdly – I am sure he will do well!. It is better to have ADHD caught early and if he is doing well enough in class, it think that bodes very well for his future. He has a loving family and I think that is the most important thing!!!

  • I will be praying for you and Alan as you seek answers about Joshua. I know that must have been so hard to hear the teacher tell you all that at your conference this week.

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