Pretty quiet weekend with the kids here at home.
Actually very quiet when you consider that we had a no screen-time weekend. NONE. No movies. No TV. No computer time. No ipad. No iphone. It all started as a consequence for a behavior issue Simon had at school on Friday (and the established consequence in advance was the removal of screen-time).
If you are a kid and you wake up on Saturday morning and don’t immediately turn on the TV what do you do?
They found things to do: legos, games, books, playing outside, helping with the dishes, weeding, chasing each other, making up stuff to play.
I liked the pace. But it was also admittedly a challenge. I had to be more engaged. I (selfishly) didn’t get as much downtime and didn’t feel like I was able to begin the week rested. I think honestly there was a bit of withdrawal in this scenario for each of us. And it’s not even that we have a screen on all day during the week or on the weekends but we are definitely used to it as something to turn to – a distraction, a salve, a babysitter, an entertainer.
On Sunday afternoon I made the executive decision to unhook the cable box. I’ve been thinking about doing this for quite awhile and just hadn’t made the move – the experience this weekend pushed me over the edge. We’ll still have Netflix (via Apple TV and on computers) and other DVD’s as options so in reality it’s not that big of a move – but it is definitely “action” in terms of regaining control over screen-time.
And really, all this regaining control started with the chart a few months back. It’s all a process.
Here’s some of the other goings-on that I didn’t capture on film:
- Napping on the couch on Saturday and on Sunday. On Saturday Simon broke the no-screentime rule while I was taking a nap (found him in Anna’s room watching a movie on the ipad) with the consequence being the elimination of the planned movie we were going to watch on Sunday evening. My nap on Sunday included Anna and George (the cat).
- Attending mass for the first time in years. Both kids asked a million questions and fidgeted through the whole thing. The priest gave each of them as a fist-bump as he entered and exited.
- Yelling at Anna in the car about her not-listening-to-whatever-I-had-just-told-her-to-do and her complaining about listening to The Muppets. The next time we got into the car the only thing she wanted to listen to was The Muppets. It’s a constant push and pull between Simon wanting to sing/Anna wanting to sing and/or Simon wanting it quiet/Anna wanting it quiet. It feels really rare (and like something to celebrate) when they want the same thing. I posted that last image of Anna and I napping on the couch (took it after I woke up) on Instagram with the following caption: “Finally got her to rest with me on the couch. She’s busy and opinionated and independent and smart and sometimes I’m at a loss over how to guide her in the “right” direction and lovingly communicate with her best.”
- Melting-down on Saturday night before bed (both kids). Possible withdrawal symptom from screen-time or side-effect of the cold/allergies that seem to be plaguing each one of us to different degrees. Possibly just done with each other. I was super done with the day by that time.
- Thinking about what it meant to have no screen-time for them and for me. Considering doing it again, or at least nothing during the day with one movie in the evening. Thinking about the ways in which we connect with one another. Thinking about how much I liked having them help me in the yard and that I need to invite them more. Thinking a lot about my own growing up – our down times (forced “quiet” times) around the house, the sports, working/helping/watching my parents work in the yard, playing golf, hot dogs and cokes for weekend lunches.