August: a device-free month


The third term began 3 weeks ago and life has been MANIC! I started a new job, after not working since mid-March, at a school no less. The boys have hit school running and Max has been ill for almost an entire week already.

Term 2s’ reports were ok – nothing spectacular but ok. And I know they can do better – or I want them to do better (not quite the same thing I know but hey, I’m the mom!). We did a study methods course at school before exams last term, reluctantly I might add, but gave us all insight into study methods and options.

But over the school holidays they amount of time spent in front of a small or large square screen was rather more thank I would have liked. And I see how reluctant they are to stop watching or playing in favour of doing something else or going out. And since school went back I am not quite convinced enough time and effort is being put into homework. Over the week-end I kind of flipped and have announced the entire month of August a device free zone for the kids. I had threatened this in June but didn’t quite follow through.

Resistance – hell yes, complaining and moaning – by the truck load, husband supporting my decision – kind of: he will support me but thinks it’s rather harsh and so deflects all queries to me! Me – I am 100% sure of what I am doing. The boys need to learn, once again, to entertain themselves the old-fashioned way by playing outside, reading, board games and the like. While I am happy for them to play Minecraft or Fifa 14 from time to time, and I am not happy with the amount of time spent watching stupid Youtube videos – often made by Americans on silly topics. Don’t get me wrong they do watch informative You Tube videos and use You Tube as an information resource for baking, cooking, animal information etc (they days of hard back Encyclopedia is LONG gone – not even sure they would know how to use one) but enough is enough.

Day 3 today and there were moans and groans this morning but I stood firm. Eventually I found the 3 of them in the lounge playing a board game. Went and voted and then did some grocery shopping and came home to find them baking (not that unusual in our house, but still). Then off to the fields with the dogs and armed with a football (I usually do this trip solo – I mean heaven forbid they stop watching to join me!) and you know what, they had a good time as they hooked up with a few guys on the field and played football.

Last term I introduced a 30 minute reading slot for the WHOLE family from 7:30 – 8pm each evening which worked really well. It also meant I could count on a few hours a week to read myself – such a treat as finding time to read has been nigh impossible since we had kids and i LOVE reading. So from this week our reading time will be re-introduced and I am so looking forward to it.

It is going to be tough and the boys are going to complain, but I firmly believe I am doing the right thing by them. If we keep up our reading time each evening, cut down on any TV or computer interaction and work on spending time doing things together – even if it is just the 3 of them – it will be greatly beneficial. I am also secretly hoping it will help lessen the crazy antagonism we have witnessed between them for the past 6 months.

Wish me luck – or join me if you dare. I will let you know how we are surviving ….





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