Loosely translated, the title of today’s post means: NO TV, NO WII, NO COMPUTER, NO LEAPSTER, NO NINTENDO, NO V-SMILE FOR ONE WEEK!!
And we are surviving. And even thriving.
Here’s the deal. On Saturday, my friend Gina was coming over so I could cut her hair…I told her to bring her Great Dane puppy Vito so the boys could catch up with him and play in the backyard. The boys had been playing on the computer and were not yet dressed, I had given them several warnings to cease and desist their activities. Both boys ignored me. So I turned off the computer for them. All hell broke loose. Rogan hit me and McKade yelled at me to “TURN IT BACK ON MOM”.
Oh hell no.
Rogan was violently grabbed gently assisted straight into his room and McKade was given the chance to deliver himself to his room as well. He complied. But after this display of completely unacceptable behavior, it occurred to me that: 1. I want to see a drastic change in their behavior and 2. I need to make a drastic change in how I/we parent my children and what “privileges” they can earn. Thus no screens week was born.
You’re probably thinking what I was thinking before I actually put this in motion. What the fuck is she thinking? Unless of course you have chosen to parent your children in a minimally technological environment, for which I applaud you. But I admit, I have gotten caught up in the vicious cycle of letting them have too much time in front of a screen.
Don’t get me wrong, we have maintained limits to screen time, but now I think the limits were much too indulgent and were not based on ‘earning’ the time. It’s been taken away following bouts of bad behavior, but only to return to normal screen activity shortly thereafter.
And you know what else? Almost every time I’ve let my kids have screen time, there has been corresponding guilt on my part, because deep down I know screen time is being used as an escape for them AND for me. Limiting screen time is a challenge. For all of us. It forces the kids to use <GASP> use their imaginations, or worse <GASP> be physically active outside. Which subsequently causes me to be more attentive to what they are doing or where they are playing. It makes me have to be more tuned in. I’ve already noticed feeling much less guilt. I feel lighter and more content with how the boys are choosing to spend their time.
I’m really hoping that as you read this, you’re not judging me to be a horrible, lazy parent, but the truth of it is, I have been lazy. And as much as it pains me to admit this, it’s time for a change. I’m capable of better.
I’m not sure what exactly will happen at the end of this week, but I’m leaning heavily towards screen-free weekdays, with very controlled technology consumption on the weekends.