We had a chance to ask Tool Shed Beer Owner, Graham Sherman, why he sold his sons video game consoles and iPads. We were amazed by his answers. This is our mini interview with him.
Village: Why are you doing this?
Graham: So first of all….We’ve had a few too many incidents of the boys choosing their gaming stations, iPads/iPods etc over obeying their responsibilities. AKA games before chores. They also have begun choosing gaming over ACTUAL outdoor activities. So if we say “hey let’s go for a hike!” They respond “Meh!…I’ll stay home!”
But most importantly when my wife and I were getting married (17 years ago) we did pre-marriage counselling and I was blown away when asked “Why I though t Tracey was marrying me”…I was WRONG! I though it was because I was driven or because I was funny or whatever…but I was wrong. I eventually said “Well why the heck ARE you marrying me!” She told me that ever since we first met…I always talked about all of the amazing adventures I seek out. I have way too many insane adventures to list but believe me I have some stories. She said that one day when she had kids she wanted their father to fill their lives like adventures like the ones I would tell her about.
Here’s we are now 17 years married with three boys, two of which are teen agers, and we’ve been so focused on building a successful business that I’ve lost sight of something I’d always promised to Tracey and the boys. Well now the business is running successfully and I have time to catch up.
Village: What are you replacing games with?
Graham: Plain and simply…I’m replacing video games with ACTUAL memories. Adventures. Experiences. Basically REAL life.
Village: What were your boys response?
Graham: It was wailing and gnashing of teeth for the first two days. They were horrified at the injustice. The hypocrisy, the horrifying insensitivity to what was important to them. But the first night Tracey and I had to leave for an evening event, we returned to find they had competed all night in a paper airplane “longest airtime” competition. They were creating together, building, competing…etc. Haha it was awesome to see them coming up with NORMAL things to do. The two eldest just left for mountain bike camp in Fernie for the week. My youngest and I just flew to Vancouver and rented a convertible mustang and drove up the Sunshine Coast to climb mountains, jump cliffs, visits friends…etc.
Village: What would you like to say to parents?
Graham: No one EVER looks back on their life and recounts their favorite level they beat in a video game. Those are IMPOSTERS of memories and experiences. True memories are not created with a gaming console they’re created with real people, outside in the mountains, or on a bike, or on the lake, or just TOGETHER with loved ones. I grew up in a house that NEVER allowed tv to be turned on during weekdays, and NO gaming console was ever allowed in the house. It’s part of the reason I had so many adventurous stories to share with Tracey when we met. I hope other parents will give their kids the chance to build these memories by limiting their gaming time.