|When the work involves getting things off the clothesline, the kids build dragons out of clothes pins and leaves!|
When I was stronger and getting around more, we were having such a great time with the video games that I didn't want to completely stop playing. Plus, it had become this thing that my kids did with me and only me - The Beast wasn't into the same games, and wasn't a part of this activity.
I started making agreements with Bean that we would play a section or level, and then do a chore. This has now morphed into regularly occurring periods (or entire days) of "play a little, work a little." Sometimes the play is an art project or a game, but usually it's still a video game. Sometimes the playing part takes an hour and the chore takes 5 minutes. Other times, it's the reverse.
Usually, Bean will help with the chore (because it gets done faster so we can play sooner, or because we get to hang out together). If I ask A-Train to do very specific things, he will totally help me out. Other times, it's just a break from the screen or from me or from negotiating with each other during which both kids go create stuff and do some quality pretend play.
Sometimes we have disagreements about what constitutes "playing a section" ("you wanted to play a level of Pac Man, dude. That counts.") Sometimes Bean loses patience when a chore is taking for.ev.er. Sometimes the two of them climb me or fight over some aspect of what we're doing and I lose patience (my rule is that we can't do "play a little, work a little" if it isn't fun because, dammit, it's supposed to be FUN!). Sometimes I can't beat Gannon in his beast form and declare we have to take a break and then we can't find the disc months later when I might have the nerve to try again.
I'm hoping to do a lot less screen time - including video games - once we move, but right now it is certainly helping get the house packed up!