January 16, 2013

A week with fewer screens

Sweetpea was born on December 5.  It's been a bit of an adjustment, but she's doing great and the kids all love her.  Still, there is some extra stress around here and it finally came to a head this weekend.  There has been a lot of attitude and overall grumpiness.  Lack of sleep and proper nutrition, plus hardly ever leaving the house has made us all a little edgy.

I don't really like taking things away from the kids to get their attention.  I much prefer talking to them and looking for the root of the problem.  However, I made the decision this week to remove access to the iPads, computers, and the Internet on Geshtro's iPod.  The breaking point for me was when I was cleaning up after all three kids in the kitchen while each of them watched YouTube on a difference device.

The next morning I sat down with each of the kids and talked to them about what was bothering me in their actions and attitudes.  The girls were disappointed, but were able to tell me about how they were feeling.  I think we all felt better after having listened to each other.  Geshtro took it pretty badly and was very upset with me.  I think he gets it though because he's been easier to communicate with these last two days.  Even though I don't really want to go this route, I have to say that I am enjoying the result.  The kids aren't moping around, they are choosing to do other things.  The girls are playing outside and with their toys more.  Geshtro is talking about doing a scavenger hunt, playing with his LEGOs again, and was watching Beakman's World.  It's just nice to see them doing something other than staring at screens.  Ideally, I'd like them to have access to screens *and* choose to do other things. I think we've all gotten into some bad habits and we just need a little shake up to get out of our ruts.

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