And the winner of the “Teach Them Diligently” watercolor print is:
Congratulations, Gail! You should get an email from me later today!
Oh dear friends. This parenting thing just doesn’t get any easier. We had a packed weekend, and some of my kids just struggle with that. Silje and David had their piano recital, and did fantastic. We met with our small group. Knut helped me finish the garden. It’s just gorgeous right now. I’ve never seen any of our past gardens look this good.
And yet, my kids still long for screen time. It’s become the epic battle. They are only allowed 1 hour a day, but lately if we are too busy for them to each have that hour, because we are too occupied being at parks or the library or at recitals or a friends house or even a birthday party…we have meltdowns. Coversations of every waking hour is around computer games. It’s become an obsession with more than one kids, to the point where bike riding and exploring the woods is scorned. 1 hour a day is all they are allowed. That’s it.
It’s turned into tantrum throwing, insult slinging, kicking doors, chore-time standoffs, all around headaches. It needs to stop. Again. I don’t want to be a stickler about screen time, but I will be a stickler about one thing: active play. The kids must be able to do some active play, and if they cannot, then screen time goes. You can argue over the benefits or evils of televisions and computers, but no one argues that getting a kid active and deep in imaginative play is bad. I insist that it happens.
So we are taking the month of June off of screen time. It’s time for a bit of a fast to retrain our brains. No computer or t.v. for one month for the kids. Knut and I both manage our home from our computers, so ours are staying, though I am limiting myself so I’m not working in front of the kids.
Yesterday went surprisingly well. I got up extra early and made some raisin-walnut scones for breakfast, to let the kids know this break is intended to increase the fun, not get rid of it. (The kids go crazy about scones. I’m raising such nerds.) The kids made some inventions with Snap Circuits for a long time. (They got the green energy version to add to their original version to make some electrical experiments this summer. My kids play with snap circuits as much as Legos, and that’s saying something.) They also cleaned up half the basement, and set up a summer party central with some epic games to play together. They built card castles, played games, had a few dance parties. It was an all around good day.
They are learning pretty quickly that “I’m bored” will get them doing chores alongside me pretty quick. Poor things.
This morning has not been so smooth. I didn’t get enough sleep last night and breakfast wasn’t ready when the kids woke up. Everyone talks at once then, and my mind swirls as I reach for coffee.
Also, I haven’t touched my headboard project I was planning last weekend besides laying them down on newspaper in garage. It stopped there. The kids haven’t let me have 2 minutes to get it done (even when they did have t.v. this last weekend) and Knut had some extra time so he offered to help me finish up all the gardens. I loved the help, but I really wished I could finish. Our gardens look pristine right now. I hope I can get it done soon. The strawberries will be ripe soon, and I feel like as soon as they are I will be consumed with canning and baking until that season is over.
So the race is on.
So tell me. How do you plan to keep your kids busy at home this summer?