Friday, May 10, 2013

I know the picture of that book is blurry, but do you remember it?  I really wish I had it so that I could read it to Jace and Cameron today.  Because today had been Jace and Cameron's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I think it all started with our video game detox.  Which has been going on strong for two days.  Just two days.  The  beginning of any detox program is the worst right?  Please?  Maybe?

  My boys are obsessed with video games.  I just read on another friends blog about how her little boy is, too.  Maybe it's a boy thing.  The DS, the Leapster, the Kindle, the iPad.  It doesn't help that there are soooo many gaming devices.  And while I'm so glad and grateful that we have them all. . . I only just recently started to realize how bad the boys were getting.  It hit me two days ago when I threatened to ground Jace from his DS and he responded with, "I don't care."

My first instinct was to march over there and slap his little mouth.  I know that sounds harsh.  Don't judge me.  But the way he said it, so haughty, so arrogant, so ENTITLED really just infuriated me.  I took all the games immediately and put them in the locked filing cabinet in our bedroom.  Then sat and started furiously texting Brice about the monsters we've created and what we're going to do about them (I know--on the phone.  One of the devices.  Great example, huh?)

So for now I've decided that we'll do a simple "minute" system.  The boys can earn minutes to play games and they can cash them in only at certain times.  Like Jace can cash in minutes when Cameron is napping.  Or they can cash them in while I'm cooking dinner.  And minutes can be taken away.  Or added.  I put a mini whiteboard up in the kitchen for us to keep track of their minutes and I'm just using tally marks.  Nothing fancy.  

Jace earned 15 minutes of game time yesterday so that's all he got to play.  First he only had ten, and then when it was up I told him he could earn 5 more by cleaning the living room.  I have never seen him move so quickly.  For his video game fix.

Cameron's naptime was a struggle yesterday for me and Jace, who usually plays games through the ENTIRE time.  Finally the whining stopped when he got out the play-dough.  And even though he made a terrible mess I was proud of myself for holding out through the relentless begging.

He made nests for his angry birds. Video game toys.  Seriously we have problems.

Today is day 2 of the lock down on the video games.  When I got out of the shower Jace and Cameron were missing.  I knew they were missing because I could no longer hear them yelling and fighting in their room.  I found them in the living room huddled behind the rocking chair.  Hunched over the Kindle.  Like little junkies.  So I took it away and erased the mere 7 minutes Jace had earned that day.  Which resulted in screams and tears and cries and yells and basically a two hour melt down. The start of our terrible very bad day.

So when it finally stopped raining for a few minutes I sent them outside to jump on the wet trampoline.  

So here's to hoping they'll remember me as a mom who lets them make a huge mess with play-dough and play outside in rain rather than the mom who grabs their arm and leads them (not so gently) to their bed as they scream and cry.

After I took some pictures of them Livvy woke up so we sat and looked out the window as the boys played until it started raining hard again.  

I wonder if she'll love video games as much as her brothers. I'm glad I don't have to worry about that for a while.  For now she is my sweet cuddly little girl.   


Tyrell said...

LOVE the picture of Jace on the swing set. You are doing such a good job!!! Your minutes system is genius and I might have to use it sometime soon. It's too bad that the detox is so hard for both child and parent. It's quiet and clean in my house (which I like) when Everett is glued to the stupid phone or TV but it's just not good for such a little person to only want to be entertained by a show or game (which, of course, I hate). Hopefully things start to improve soon... I know I'm hoping that for myself!!

Celeste said...

Don't give up! Your system sounds so smart...if we ever get a video game system I'll have to remember that. Right now I'm too scared that my kids will be addicted so we have iPad, no Wii, nothing. I's like we live in the 20th century. =) But I guess the boys don't really know what they are missing...yet. lol