In the coming weeks my wife and I will be meeting a 14-year-old boy named Trevon who is currently living in a group home and looking for a family. When we meet Trevon we are planning to tell him abut our family as it is and to ask if our family is what he is really looking for. If he wants to go to college or to do the best he can in school we are the place he wants to be. If he is a serious athlete, he will find a lot of support to be the best he can be in whatever sport he wants to pursue.
If he wants he wants his own choice of food and electronic entertainment, then he should look for another family. Kids who need TVs, iPods, and McDonalds will hate living with us and should hold out for something more to their liking. Not to mention if we spend the academic year 2015-16 in Rwanda, all edible and electronic comforts will be history for a year.
One of my roommates at Fort Sill when we were training for Iraq said that depriving my kids of video games and TV the way we did was going to make them weird. For him it was like child abuse. He did not even know my wife served vegetables every day and never took the kids to McDonalds.
Since there were no secrets in a 4-man room, I was painfully aware that his boys whined on Skype for new video games. At the time, two of my daughters were students at Brun Mawr and Juniata College. The third was just about to graduate third in her high school class and made the state meet in cross country.
We are sticking with vegetables and video deprivation for the boys also.