I put my foot down on Sunday night about too much TV and electronics with my kids. I suggested to my 8 year old son, Max, that he go grab a book and work on his Racine Reads and Six Flags reading logs/contests. He started a Diary of a Whimpy Kid book that he received as a birthday present and in one night, just a couple of hours, nearly finished it. Read more…
On Monday, as we were getting in the car to go pick up his sister, he asked me if he could bring his book and then asked if he could turn the light on in the car, so that he could continuing reading…..He is hooked! And I am excited.
Rewind back just a couple of weeks, you find my husband and I Christmas shopping on the eve of Christmas Eve at Toys R Us, racking our brains, trying to come up with something to buy Max for Christmas. The clock was ticking and the pressure was on. This wasn’t easy. He just had his family birthday party earlier in the month, and his friend party was scheduled at Racine Gymnastics for December 30th. Seriously, sonny boy really doesn’t need anything, except for a bedroom makeover, pants, shirts, socks, undies, and a lifetime supply of winter gloves…not the kinda thing an 8 year old kid really wants to unwrap on Christmas.
As we linger in the electronics department weighing the possible options, we bump into his friend’s dad and exchange gift stories. Lucky Max, upon receiving the thumbs up from our conversation, we go ahead and purchase the Nintendo DS3…something I swore I would NEVER get…”those things are going to mess kids’ eyes up” was what I said when I first learned of this newest generation of the favorite Herrmann family hand-held. I still think so!
I had already rationalized why I wouldn’t be be getting him a new DS (as he asked for the DSi)…we still had a perfectly working first generation DS, that I bought for my now 16 year old. Could she have been like 7 or 8 years old? I think so. That thing has held up INCREDIBLY well, just showing a bit of wear in the form of a few scratches, slightly rubbed off finish, and minor looseness in one hinge. (the latter was part of my reasoning as well…it’ll probably fall apart soon.)
The minute he opened the DS3, I lost my son.
Now you must know, he’s been attached to our original DS for years, like maybe since he was 2 or 3, so it’s not like I didn’t expect it. He’s addicted to it, like I am addicted to Facebook (ah, there I said it…I am addicted to that stupid Facebook). What was pretty bad, got worse. He got DS deaf, DS dumb(founded) and probably is going to go blind. And it’s all my fault.
Okay, so here’s how it is…
…in addition to Max’s obsession with the DS, he is hooked on the Wii (thank goodness he hasn’t asked for another game system…yet.), Angry Birds on my phone, and of course, the stupid TV.
…my next child, Christiane, is my lovely 9 year old daughter….the Fashion Story maven. Didn’t know what FS was all about until a couple of months ago when she downloaded the app onto my phone, and now it doesn’t let me forget about it, as I receive text messages, yes texts, when a new shipment of sundresses arrive at her “store”. Gladly, I’d relay the message. In addition to FS, there’s Bakery Story and Angry Birds all caged up on my phone. If she’s not playing on my phone, she’s on some virtual world on the kid laptop asking me to help her log in (like I can keep all of her userid’s and passwords straight…uh uh!) Oh yes, she plays on the Wii and watches a ton of TV.
…Kaisa Kaisa Kaisa, taking after her mother and jumping onto Facebook the minute she gets home from school. She loves music (musicals, operas, Louis Armstrong, Nate King Cole, André Rieu, the Jackson Five), not your typical 15 year old. You’ll find her leaving Facebook only to hop on over to YouTube. While she’s not much of a texter, she gets a lot of texts. And when a text is received, her phone plays a sweet little song. Finally, you guessed it….she digs Angry Birds (on my phone) and she’s a TV and movie junkie. (that she got from her dad!)
…Lastly, is my oldest daughter, Gabby. She is 16, going on 17…
“Baby its time to think. Better beware, Be canny and careful. Baby you’re on the brink“
(sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. If you have no idea of what I am talking about, hint: Sound of Music). Yup, she loves TV too. While her texting has subsided tremendously over the last couple of years, life hasn’t been the same since she got her iTouch last year. That’s definitely her number one electronic love. I think she’s on Facebook most of the time if she’s not listening to her music. (I really don’t like that I have to say “think“.) I’ve got to remind her that she’s got to get up before 6am, pretty much every night at about 10 (okay, sometimes 11pm) and it’s time to turn in the electronics.
Lord, help me…what have I done?!
Two things I can think of…
First, turning in, plugging in to charge, and holding captive the teens’ electronics (in my bedroom) is a nightly thing. Thank goodness I can highlight a good parenting directive I’ve initiated and stuck to!
The other? Just unplugging the kids and suggesting my son read a dang book (for goodness sakes!).