Isn't it hard? Especially as the kids get older? I just can't seem to get this under control and maintain it. I want a relaxing summer. I don't want to have to police my kids 24-7 about their time on the computer, x-box, netflix, iphones, and ipods. Now as the summer is winding down, I find that I am getting even more lazy and not too diligent on saying those infamous words: Turn that off!
It's so peaceful when they are screen-engaged!
But I just need to look at the bigger picture--I know that it can't possibly be good for them. A little is fine, but they need to have limits.
In the past when the kids were all young (middle school and down) I had charts. If they read so much, did extra chores, watched a younger sibling, didn't eat any sugar all day, etc, they earned screen time. And yes, this worked pretty well. It still took a lot of effort, but it definitely was worth it.
Now that I have kids at all age spans--even college age students at home who aren't always great role-models for screen time, it's been a lot harder. I can't do charts for a high schooler. That's demeaning. I should have done charts for the younger kids this summer, but didn't get around to it this year.
Danielle Bean, Catholic writer, said that she only allows screens after the sun goes down. I like that simple approach. This might work for the rest of the year, but we have sunlight until almost 9:00 in the summer.
Reflecting on a positive note here, we have had no screens or devices in bedrooms and the phones and ipods are turned in every evening, thanks especially to my husband's efforts. (College students exempt.)
When school starts in a couple of weeks, I can go back to my "only screens on weekends and sometimes right before dinner, AND if the family is doing/watching something together" policy. (It's not as complicated as it sounds!)
So for now, I am stuck with the "just nag" method.
Anyways, with this confession, I present this week's Summer Mommy Pick-me-ups. The first is about communication technology and kids. The second is about what moms can do to encourage vocations. Please enjoy. And let's pray that we would learn some wisdom and advice from both of these important topics.