etoxing the kids from gadgets?
It’s almost like thinking of one of your most outrageous dreams and saying it out loud. You’d look around to see if anyone heard you.
Until you are pushed over the edge and decide to go for it.
I posted this status that night on my Facebook page, “With cable box, PS4, iPods/pads unplugged and thrown out, the kids are actually having a conversation.”
Since that post, I have gotten many follow up questions from other parents and even singles as to what triggered it, how I did it, what it entailed, if this can be applied on their significant others etc. Well.. that’s a whole another can of worms I guess.
Here’s a brief description of what went down and some disclaimers,as parenting could easily be one of the most sensitive topics these days.
It was my 10 yr old son’s birthday weekend. Birthdays are usually big in our family – meaning, one cake – for the night of, second party – at his school (snacks/drinks are packed and sent), third party – at a local bouncy house with friends, and a fourth -with grandparents, and uncles, aunts. Clearly, a privileged child. After everything died down the following day, there’s a new situation – soccer time conflicts with math tutoring. I call it a situation because seemingly harmless conflicts have aggravated really quickly in the past as “compromises” aren’t his strongest feat. Proposed solution – we attend soccer and catch up on next session of tutoring. Simple.
Except, not really. He wants to go to soccer, and doesn’t want to go to tutoring. Why? Because that’s what a lot of kids do well – extend their boundaries ever so slightly on every occasion so that one day they can roam free with no education and only PlayStations with shoot-em-up games. I said, “No.. there’s a conflict, I’m respecting that you want to attend your game, go play your game, once you are done, take a shower, and we’ll go for tutoring.” We left it at that.
Of course, once he was done with his game (3-0 win!), he gets into the car and declares that he never agreed to go to tutoring because he doesn’t like it and if I wanted I could ground him. Somehow, that last bit, seemed a little over the edge and almost felt like a challenge to me. So I went all or nothing. I said that I will break his PS4 into pieces (I got this idea from a video he once showed me on YouTube where the frustrated father mowed down all of his 20 something year old son’s video games.) Of course, I don’t do that and he probably knew I wouldn’t.
I gave both of us some time to cool off and asked if he was ready to take a shower. Unfortunately, he held his stance on not cooperating.
So I unplugged every single piece of gadget including cable boxes, put them in a suitcase and threw them in the storage.
There were resistance, tears, rage, and sheer disbelief.
This was officially Day 1 of the Screen-free World.