Hello. My name is Natalie and my children are technology addicts. And it's driving me crazy.
TV. Computer. Wii. Nintendo DSi XL. Am I forgetting anything?
For the longest time, we didn't have a Wii. We didn't have any sort of handheld computer game except Leapsters that the boys really only used when we traveled. And then we got a Wii and the whole slippery slope started.
So last school year, I got so annoyed by the kids running out of school to meet me and instead of saying, "Hi, Mommy! I had a wonderful day at school! Can we go home and do our homework and read the Hardy Boys?" I heard, "Can I watch TV? Can I play Wii?" Over. And Over. And Over Again.
I think my head finally spun all the way around and pea soup flew out of my mouth.
And we decided that Monday through Thursday there would be no electronics or TV. That tended to make the weekend a bit of a free for all, and I do sometimes have to lift the Weekday Ban when I have to have a phone meeting and I confess I let them watch TV/play Wii/whatever to keep them out of my hair while interviewing people. It doesn't happen very often. At least not often enough to satisfy the boys.
Anyway, I've been somewhat lax lately in enforcing the Weekday Ban and I can tell because we're back to the "Can I play Wii. . ." or fill in the blank with the electronic of the moment here and you get the picture. I blame myself for being inconsistent and getting back into this. And I do confess that with summer coming I see the vast expanse of hours before me and the endless chorus of Wii/DSi demands. My head is throbbing a little just thinking about it.
But then again it might be the sinus headache I have from all of the snow that has continued to fall for the last four days. But I'm just guessing.
So I'm curious. What do the rest of you do about computer/TV time during the school year and/or summer? Do you kids have to earn the time? Do you have a set number of minutes they can have screen time?
Because my own video game experience is pretty limited to Atari in the 1970s. And of course when I steal Declan's DSi and play Sudoku after he goes to bed. Not that he needs to know about that.