The Screen goes Off.

SO, our kids lost their screens.

Not like literally cannot find them. But there use of them.

No tablets, tv, computers, gaming devices. When mommy has had enough. Mommy has had enough.

What is it with children with the tit for tat? I mean seriously. When Hank comes in because Pea shoved snow down his coat AND pushed some on his face. You got to know that somewhere. Somehow. Something else happened. Like maybe. I don’t know? Say Hank shoved snow down her coat???

I like a quiet home. A clean home. Okay, okay. Maybe NOT clean-clean. But where you can sit down and not have to move someone’s sweater they wore for 5 minutes. Or garbage from a snack 2 days ago. Or heaven forbid, there is a stack of mile high things. That for some God only knows why reason it has sat in the same spot for 2 days. Ahem. like dirty dishes from Hubby and Pea. Our place is TINY. And the lack of space to put things is not helped by things that can be put away.

A place where I can nicely ask a pre-teen to pick up her garbage from a couple of hours ago. And it is done without sighing, whining, or snark. Where asking a young boy to put something away without a huge sigh. Read: sighing like when I ask Hubby to do something on the rare occasion. Or not so rare occasion like this morning when I told him to take the basket up. He had to get off Hank’s computer game. [Insert eye roll.]

A place where children play together. Nicely. For more than 5 minutes.

Well I had had enough.

I was done with the crab-itude. And the fighting. Now I get a pre-teen is not always going to want to hang out with her baby brother. But good Lord. I knew they could get along maybe 75% of the time. So I, in the ultimate parental role of exhaustion, told them they had lost screen privileges.

They could have an hour or so a day of tv. In the evening. And it was mine or Hubby’s choice of program. Granted it had to be family appropriate. But still our choice. The rest of the time they could not use any screens. FOR A WEEK.

The first night Pea flunked. Somehow she sneakily grabbed her tablet and was watching you-tube videos.  The first full day was a bit rough. With both the kids and I working around this new way of doing things. [I am not much of a sitter, but once I do I am done for the day.] Once we figured it out. We only had a few rough spots. Although I cannot say too much on that since the kids spent the night at Grandma’s and she caved a bit.

I can say, however, that this last week has been AWESOME. Woke up, did chores, did our schoolwork, the kids played in the snow a lot. I got a few things done on the house. In the evenings they either helped me make dinner or they played in the snow. 3 times a day they have gone out! Then I or Hubby would pick out a show or movie and we would eat dinner. Then as soon as the show or movie was over we would play games until bedtime.

Since the week was conditional, their first question Monday morning was, “do we get screens back today?” We had a big discussion about attitudes. And how nice they have been the last week. And that I wanted to continue with the minimal screen time. They understood why they lost the screen time and why they were getting only a little bit back.  So now they each get an hour of their choosing to do whatever they want with. AFTER they finish chores and schoolwork. They can break it up. They can blow it all at once. It is up to them. And depending on attitudes, they would be earning back screen time[each week]. 

We are keeping the parent choice program followed by games. And they are excited for slightly warmer temperatures. Which means Ping Pong in the barn. And bike rides galore.

BUT. As soon as the naughty attitudes come back...they loose it all.