video gaming kidThe day Daylight Savings Time ends in America is the moment every parent fears. That one hour may not seem like much to the lawmakers who crafted this time change plan, but when you're a parent with a kid who jumps off a school bus full of energy that needs to be burned off, every precious second of sun counts. It's enough to make me want to blow my "no new toys before the holidays are here" rule so she has something to do!

OK, let me back up. Like 65 percent of American households, ours is a video gaming family. And the advent of game systems that get kids off the couch and moving are a lifesaver when it's raining, cold, or the sky has darkened before she's even finished filling out her homework sheets.

The era of couch potato gamers is dead. Today kids jump, twirl, dance, and do a little yoga. So when we can't send our daughter outside to play in the fresh air, all it takes to fight childhood obesity and get her wiggles out is to turn on the TV and power up something that lets her box or bowl or pretend to be a skier (without actually leaving the house). Even the handheld gaming systems can be played while a kid paces around the house, burning off some of that energy. Gaming is now a bona fide healthy habit for families.

Only trouble is, one of our game systems just died an unnaturally early death. It's past the warranty date, so we can't get it repaired. And we're just about to bid bye-bye to the "after school" outside fun hour.

We need an outlet for her energy, stat! But I'm wondering if buying a new game system right now is really that wise.

We have just under two months until we go into debt pile presents under the tree. Buy her something now -- whether it's a new system or something really cool for the other system (we have one that still works, but it's more Daddy's than hers) -- and that means we miss out on the potential of mega savings on Black Friday.

Not to mention the really cool games are usually released in November and December for the holiday rush, but word has it they're put on sale in January or February. If we wait to buy the new system for the holiday (taking advantage of those savings), we won't be sick of the one or two original games by the time the good stuff goes on sale.

I think the frugal mom side of me is going to win here. How about you? Are you a video gaming family? Will the kids get a new game system any time soon?

 

Image via rynosoft/Flickr