As summer has moved along, my boys have started to slip into an electronics coma!
After sleeping in most mornings (if they aren’t off to a camp or an appointment or something previously scheduled) they are really good about getting in their daily run and exercise routine and then getting their list of chores done. What happens after that is when things fall apart!
I am blessed to be a WAHM (work at home mom)…which really means I try to run a pretty good balancing act in the summer. Work, kids, camps, etc. I have the flexibility to run to the pool for the afternoon or take the kids to the park, etc., but there are many days I really need to be in the office. This means the kids need to entertain themselves! At the beginning of the summer they did pretty well finding things to do. But as the summer has rolled along, I have found them slipping to the basement too often for some time on the x-box or grabbing an iPad and realizing two hours later they are still on it or sitting down to play a little Minecraft on the computer and then there goes the afternoon.
These sweet boys are surrounded by electronics that are hurting their minds, crushing their creativity and killing their social skills.
Really, it’s just so easy to pick up an electronic. It takes no thought. It takes no effort.
Of course, from them I hear that I am “the only mom” who doesn’t let her boys have an iPhone or iPad in their hands in the car or bring it to their brother’s baseball game!! My boys tease me about earning the “Mean Mom Award”!! I simply respond with the fact that it is the award I was trying to earn, and simply remind that that they need to look out the car window and watch their brother play baseball. It’s important to be aware of the world around us and not have their faces stuck in front of a screen.
So now, it’s time I crack down at home too. The hour “limit” somehow got thrown out the window this summer, but it’s back with a vengeance! It was much too hard for me to keep track of who has been on what electronic and for how long. I decided to revert back to a system I used with the kids were little: Electronic Tickets.
Each kid gets an hour of electronics a day. They can chose how they want to use their hour. It’s simple and straight forward.
I color code everything for my boys. So I printed them each a set that coincides with their color.
We keep a jar in the kitchen that has their tickets. They grab a ticket, bring it to me, set a timer and off they go for their electronic time.
Ironically, I have to share what happened when I was in the midst of creating their “Electronic Tickets”. One of the boys came to my office and saw what I was doing, and I am sure he had flashbacks of the last time we used them because his response was, “Oh no, not those again!”. I then proceeded to holler to all the boys that we were going to have a mom & son meeting in 15 minutes.
Less than 5 minutes later a boy comes sneaking in my office with a delivery he places on my desk! Followed by footsteps of all of them running to the basement to hit the xBox one last time before our little meeting!
Get a load of the letter! The boys sure know how to make me laugh and fill my heart with joy!
What has happened in the days since the unlimited electronics got taken away? The creativity blossomed! They remember how to entertain themselves. They interact with each other.
They are dumpster diving (in the dumpster from the house that is getting built next door to us) to find materials for the homemade go-kart they are building.
They are reading.
They baking dessert for dinner, without being asked.
They are playing Knockout…together!!
They are boys doing what boys should do!
This is what makes a momma’s heart happy!
Want to try Electronic Tickets with your kids? Grab the link below to download the tickets you would like to use.