Pokemon Patience

I wish Pokemon Go would just go away! OK not really, we have had a lot of fun playing the new virtual game. But we’ve also shed a lot of tears and thrown a lot of fits about it.

I guess it’s just one more thing to help my kids and me learn patience. I’m sure that’s Nintendo’s goal, right?

Well, not really. I’m sure they have other intentions, but we’re going to learn patience along the way. Or stop playing.

Why has it been hard? Can’t we just have a blast tossing Pokeballs and capturing characters? Well we could if we didn’t have to share. But my boys are 10 and 8 years old and don’t own their own cell phones.

Gasp!

So they insist I let them walk around the neighborhood with their noses glued to my new expensive phone. One of them was ticked when I wouldn’t let him take my iPad around.

I am the meanest mother ever.

To compromise I told them I’d go with them – then I could keep tabs on both them and my phone.

Of course that meant I was killing their social life.

When they finally realized it was Pokemon playing with mom or no Pokemon playing at all, they begged me to take them.

I loaded up my 2 and 4-year-old and we hit the streets with a couple of friends.

We walked around for two hours in the heat catching Pokemon, fighting to take back gyms and stocking up at Pokestop.

The game is really fun. And really addicting. I like that it gets people out. Gamers have to walk around until they spot virtual characters on their phones. Then they try to “catch” them for their collections.

I love that players have to walk specific distances in order to hatch their collected eggs.

I love that I have seen more people out and about.

I don’t love that my boys can’t play Pokemon nicely with one another. They fought over my cell phone the entire time we were playing. After one of them caught a Pokemon they were supposed to hand the phone over to their brother, but it didn’t run smoothly.

I heard them snap at each other back and forth. They would cry when one of them caught the one that the other one wanted. They would shout demands and directions at each other.

They would snatch the phone from each other’s hands and scream in their face – all in front of their closest friends.

It was stressful. It was embarrassing.

I don’t know how many times I said, “Play nice!”

On our way home I told them both that I wouldn’t take them again until they could prove that they were kind and mature enough to handle it.

They spent the afternoon sulking while making clay Pokeballs to play with.

They may be a little young for the game – especially because they don’t have their own device to load it onto, and I don’t feel comfortable letting them wander all around the city by themselves.

But they are still dying to play.

So I’ll let them play as long as they can be patient and kind – as long as they can share.

We’ve gone twice now. The second time was a tiny bit better. Maybe next time will be better still.

Maybe we’ll learn to get along thanks to Pokemon.

I sure hope so, we’ve got a lot of Pidgey’s to catch.

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