I have typical kids. They want easy entertainment. They want something colorful and flashy on a screen to engage their minds and keep them occupied, keep them from being “bored”.
My typical kids have a mean mom, though. It’s summer time. Time for sun, dirt, bugs, fish. Time to sweat and drink lukewarm water and get sticky with homemade popsicles. NOT a time to sit and stare at a screen for hours.
So, here’s our house rule:
Between the hours of 9AM and 3PM, there are no screens. No television, no laptops, no tablets, no phones. -AND- before 9AM, there is a list of chores that must be completed before those screens can come on. Maybe some days I’ll turn on the radio and we’ll listen to classical symphony or Christian contemporary music, but not all the time. I like the sound of the silence – the sound of the house filled with the noise of things NOT produced by multimedia.
Every day, around 9:01AM, we go through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. By 9:05AM, acceptance kicks in and they’re busy. Around 2:00PM they start asking every thirty seconds what time it is. By 3PM they’ve forgotten that they were waiting for the clock and are busy and engaged elsewhere. *I’m* not going to be the one to remind them that they can turn on devices.
It makes for a much less boring summer if they have to train themselves to seek out engagement and make their own entertainment.
How do you handle summers?
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