We are back from our two week vacation to California. The remaining weeks of unencumbered summer stretch before us. I love not having to set the alarm, love the idea of stay at home and hide from the heat days. Lovin’ the 90° pool water.
But I am sick to death of parenting. I can not say “please brush your teeth” one more time. Six plus years of saying it multiple times a day is enough.
So I am taking the summer off from parenting (except in the event of true danger of course). No more teeth brushing reminders (the cost of any cavities will come out of his college fund). Snack away my son because I am not doing much for dinner these days anyway. Okay, don’t shower or comb your hair, the only place we are going is in the pool anyway. Yes you need to be in bed by 9:00p at the latest but you can stay up and read as long as you want.
And while I know the answer will not always be yes at least now I am offering alternatives: “No”, we cannot go to the park at 11:00a.m when it is already 100°, how about going in the pool instead?
Because my son would happily play on the computer 12 hours a day we sat down together and wrote some agreed upon guidelines which I printed out and placed next to the computer.
GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTER USE
- No more than 4 hours per day. (Be honest!)
- Only use the computer when time is available. Don’t forget to:
- Play with friends
- Go swimming
- Play with your other toys. (Legos, cars etc)
- Do chores and errands
- Go places and do fun things
- No computer use after 6:00p.m.
- Stop using the computer when you feel cranky or frustrated. (Or when Mom says enough!)
- Do different things on the computer. Don’t play Roblox or Minecraft for 4 straight hours!
- Remember that using the computer is a WANT not a NEED.
***NOT FOLLOWING COMPUTER GUIDELINES WILL RESULT IN A 24 HOUR LOSS OF COMPUTER PRIVILEGES!!***
Personally I would prefer a 2 hour limit per day but I am trying to be flexible and open minded. (I am also secretly hoping that after a week or two he will get kind of sick of the computer and move on to other things.) The great thing about this list is there is no arguing or discussion. I merely say a number and he gets it. Yesterday for the first time I did not remind him of rule #3. At 6:30p.m. his father reminded him because he needed to use the computer. At first my son tried to argue about the consequences and I simply said if you don’t want to follow the agreed upon rules then we eliminate any computer use for the rest of the summer. Hardcore and Easy-Peasy at the same time. Guess who spent three hours in the pool today, read a book and finished building the Lego set he got for a good report card? Guess which mother and son are both perfectly happy?
Welcome to Summer!