It's not working

My attempts at screen time limitations have not gone well.  If it's not one thing, it's another. Turn off the cable then they discover long lost movies under their bed or realize the library's rental selection is not too bad. After I hid the I-pod, they found games on my smart phone I didn't know existed. It seems the media world has conspired against me.  I have read and long believed that kids need to get bored- that is when creativity seeps in. So...I was hoping boredom might lure them into building, drawing, getting outside. Instead, they whine, maybe read a bit, pool resources to re-activate the Wii,  which was also off (due to dead batteries). I am not anti-technology. I just think summer should be a time to lift your head up and get outside and be creative and active.  What works best is finding other kids to play with, but most have such busy summer schedules that it is hard to find people to play with. And so, I am back to camps and arranging play dates and sucking it up while my offspring sloth about watching River Monsters and Annie for the 23rd time. I kick them out twice a day and they always return claiming ten minutes was an hour and that surely they should have another (perhaps the 7th?) popsicle.They are made of fruit, you know.

It might be hard to see that I love my children after reading this. The fact is, I am just not very good with them. I don't want to play Pokemon and  have zero interest in technology beyond reading my news and writing. I think back to my childhood and my limited choices on the farm. My parents did not worry about my social and creative life at all. Kid's tv was on at 4:00 p.m. and perhaps there were a few family friendly shows on at 6:30. I read, wrote, did chores, went outside though I never was an outdoor girl, and rode my bike to town (3 miles to Cushing, 4 miles to Correctionville) or across the section on a dirt (not even gravel!) to meet a friend.  Was this dreamy? I know I didn't think so, but it was simple.

I feel like I must put on a shield every day ready to fight some sort of lurking evil seeking to chip away at the mental and physical health of my kids.  I try to model though I am not the picture of perfection. But they know about fruits and veggies and they see me meeting friends for walks and know I return while they are sleeping after my early morning work-outs. Our house has more books than movies and at least three of us are incessant readers. So there is that.

This is me mentally tossing up my hands and hoping for the best for their futures....and mine.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. Your kids are just fine and from everything I've heard you're a great mom leading by example. They are just kids being kids.

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  2. Don't give up! I am very strict about technology use and when I hear the "I'm bored" whining my response is always the same - "I'm not here to make your fun - you make your own fun!" Kids need time to be creative and use their imagination. I will often "ground" them from the TV and computer for some small infraction and they end up having such a good time without it that we will go weeks without it on. When they know its not an option, they don't' ask for it. "It might be hard to see that I love my children after reading this" - quite the opposite. Letting them watch, play, surf, etc. with little limits and boundaries is a better example of not loving them. :)
    Because I know you and "Big Man" I know that your kids are great. Have them write the best story about how he tried to kill his sister a few weeks ago - that ought to keep them entertained. :)
    Take care!
    (We're off on a tech free family vacation (sans Owen) to Italy next week - if I hear my kids say "I'm bored" even one time it's no TV for the rest of year!)

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