Five Real Life Parenting Lessons Learned from World of Warcraft
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Recently, an article entitled Six
Real Life Lessons I learned from World of Warcraft has made quite a splash
throughout the WoW community. As the title hints at, this witty piece
details several lessons the author has learned in game and has been able
to apply in real life situations. Which is a pretty big deal, considering
that many games get a bad reputation for being total cesspools that sap
the life out of those that play them.
As I sat reading over the article (almost
continuously nodding my head in agreement), I started to wonder what
lessons I had taken away from the game and applied into my every day life.
As I sat and pondered, I realized that World of Warcraft has taught me
many lessons along the way, specifically in the parenting department.
What could one take away from a game like
World of Warcraft concerning parenting children? More than you might
expect. Please, let me elaborate:
Bathroom Breaks Happen...A lot
One thing I learned about raiding in World of
Warcraft is that (adult) people sure do go to the bathroom a lot. They
also seem to pick the most inconvenient times. For instance, the guy who
went to the bathroom right as we pulled the boss or the other who went as
we were handing out loot, holding up the entire raid. We all know when you
gotta go, you gotta go, but this ninja bathroom break phenomenon seems to
be especially prominent in WoW.
Despite my annoyance with it at the time, the
WoW bathroom break has thoroughly broken me in for children. You see, kids
go to the bathroom more than any WoW playing adult drinking Red Bull. In
fact, my daughter makes it her personal mission to go to the bathroom in
every single place we frequent and I mean every single place.
However, thanks to World of Warcraft, instead of getting annoying, I just
sit back and let the ninja pee breaks roll. After sitting around for 15
minutes waiting for your tank to come back from the bathroom, after
announcing he had to drop the kids off at the pool, these child induced
bathroom breaks ain't no thing.
How to Deal with Temper Tantrums
It doesn't matter if you are raiding, PvPing,
or just grouping up with a random to complete a quest, the WoW temper
tantrum is bound to happen. Anything can induce it, a raid wipe (for the
90th time), a loss at PvP, or even a player getting loot
another coveted. I've even had someone's father come yell at an entire
raid because his son didn't get an invite to the group. Big, small, and
massively epic, there is nothing quite like the WoW meltdown.
Much to my wonder, these adult cry-fests came
in handy. Now when my kids decide to put a full fledged tantrum into
effect; I know exactly how to handle it; by ignoring it. You see, getting
all riled up and responding only adds fuel to the flames. As WoW has
taught me, these tantrum throwers are out for attention and the hope that
their yelling, stomping, and wailing will change things in their favor.
Tantrums are all about them and no one else.
Letting them vent their anger, without
responding to it, get its out of their system and allows them to come to
the realization that whinging in this house doesn't get you any place. Are
they going to throw another tantrum (probably in a fancy restaurant)
someday? Probably. However, at least now I don't take it so personally.
So, thank you World of Warcraft tantrum throwers every where; you have
made it possible for me to better survive the toddler meltdown.
Daily Quests A.K.A the Grind
Daily quests and other types of grinding in
World of Warcraft are the bane of almost every player. I am sure all of us
can relate to endless hours, glazed look on our faces, we farmed that
reputation, pet, or mount. It is tiresome, tedious, and downright mind
numbing work. With that being said, it holds a great parenting lesson.
You see, in pictures and movies parenting is
displayed as this beautiful thing and it is. However, a lot of the time,
is not really all that much fun. Get up, feed the kids, wipe noses, pack
lunches, get them off to school, change diapers, and repeat. Over and over
and over again. In fact, some days I have to remind myself I am not in
some crazy Groundhog Day twilight zone where I am repeating the same day
Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but after
changing my 10th diaper of the day, watching Toy Story for the
90th time, and (once again) finding mysterious food crumbs on
the couch, things get a little strained around here. Thankfully, World of
Warcraft and it's wonderful grinds have made me more resilient than most.
Yes, I do go a bit crazy sometimes, but just like in WoW, I just put my
head down and continue to plod onward.
Mine, Mine, Mine
Before the fancy, new loot system Blizzard
worked into the game, running pick up groups was a dangerous endeavor.
Players could roll on any loot they wanted, at any time. This meant that,
at least a few times, you were bound to get some jerk that thought
everything belong to him and him alone.
Parenting small children is much the same.
Children (especially tiny ones), firmly believe that everything in
existence is theirs. No questions, no talking them out of it. If they see
it and decide they want it, it belongs to them. From siblings,
to parents, to absolute strangers, I've seen kids shamelessly claim things
from them all. Thanks to World of Warcraft, this irks me less than I would
have thought possible. I've learned to accept ninjas as a fact of life, so
I can easily accept kids and their kleptomaniac ways. So when my youngest
steals that doughnut I really wanted, I simply think "loot ninja" and
laugh it off.
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You're Doing it Wrong!
No matter what game you choose to play, there
will always be that one player that feels that they need to tell you
exactly how you are playing your character wrong. It has happened more
than once to me in World of Warcraft. They always seem well intentioned,
but it comes off as rude no matter the circumstance. Heal this way, use
this spell, don't stand in that spot. Unwanted helpful advice is always
just that, unwanted.
Over the years, I've developed a shell to this
kind of advice. I play how I want, when I want, and the way that works
best for me. I now use this strategy in my parenting and I am forever
grateful. If you thought people telling you that you are playing your
character wrong is bad, wait till you become a parent. There are so many
choices and every single person thinks that their way is absolutely right.
There are those that give subtle hints and
others who come right out and tell you how they would do things
differently, but no matter the deliverance, it all boils down to the same
thing; my way is the only right way. Breastfeeding, swaddling, pacifiers,
co-sleeping, the debates are endless in the parenting world. Thanks to
WoW, I have the confidence to politely thank these helpful people for
their advice and continue on my way, raising my kids the best way I see
The moral of this story is that perhaps
video games aren't all mindless drivel after all. In fact, there are
plenty of lessons to be learned in game that we can easily apply to
real life situations. What lessons have you taken from World of
Warcraft and used them in your real life? Share your thoughts with us
in the comments section below!
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