Our six-year-old recently misplaced a library book. We searched high and low, but it was nowhere to be found. The worst part about it was that my husband and I were the ones searching high and low and our son didn’t seem all that fazed.
I once read somewhere that a kid’s punishment should match the crime. Makes sense to me…except when it doesn’t. What was I going to do, take away reading?! So we took away screen time. Sure, he whined for about two point five seconds and then he found something else to do (that didn’t involve looking for the book), because let’s face it our children are spoiled and have about a million and one things to keep them occupied (despite always complaining that they are bored).
In the meantime, our three-year-old decided to not listen (shocker, there!) about something that could have put him in rather grave danger. And so, I decided to take away his screen time while we were at it.
As we embarked on “no screen time”, something really great happened. The boys could care less that they weren’t using screens*, they didn’t whine or complain, they were spending more time outside (it definitely helped that it was super nice out) and they started using their toys.
Sadly, the punishment wasn’t all that easy on me. It’s not like I park my kids in front of the television all day, but I do use it as a tool when we need a little down time. Or, you know, when I need to work…to get paid?! You see, I work from home and my little guy and I have a routine. We put big brother on the bus, we make breakfast, he watches T.V. for an hour…or two (don’t judge), while I get work done. Then we go about our day and I resume work when my husband gets home.
So, all last week, our routine got messed up. I had to add an extra hour (or two) to my work-work at night (forget getting housework done). It helped that it was a holiday week and client’s expectations were a little lower. But still, who was really being punished here?! Certainly not my kids! They had a more attentive Mom and were benefitting from the great outdoors (yes, I know that this is how it should be, but bills do need to be paid!).
*Let’s get back to this so-called “no screen-time” punishment. It’s actually a pretty big joke for school age children. It is 2017, after all! So, as I struggle to get my work done without the use of modern technology, my kiddo is at school using computers and, get this…watching the exact same holiday movie that I wanted our little family to watch together, but took back to the library because my kids were being punished with no-screen time?!?