We live in a brave new world, a world where information is at everyone’s fingertips, a world where our kids are becoming more informed, sometimes misinformed, and where they tend to spend a lot of time in “virtuality”.
Rather than taking a walk to the school yard, they take a walk through Google earth and visit the streets of China. Rather than spending time shooting some hoops in that school yard, they take out the PS4 remote and play as an NBA star, wearing headset to communicate with friends.
This can be good or it can be bad, but it certainly opens their world in a way that we never had. The drawback? When they can be having so much fun, it’s hard to get them to do anything around the house.
Being a working mom, I’m not always there to enforce rules and regulations. I am good at implementing them, but I am not consistent. That is my one big failure as a parent. I have blown up, ranted and said–insert menacing tone here– “things are gonna change around here” so many times, to only get back in my old routine of not enforcing the law, that I had lost all credibility with my kids.
But this week, this has changed. And really, I still can’t believe how easy it was.
I do a lot for my kids. I always place them first. I’ll drop anything I’m doing, even work, to give them a ride somewhere, help them with school work or hear them out. But because the kids never did their chores without me begging daily, it left me feeling like the relationships was more than a little one sided.
I sat down many times to explain to them that relationships should go both ways, that they too should give, not only take, and they looked like they understood but always went right back at doing what they want to do, not what they need to do.
Unfortunately, life is not about what we want to do and I knew that I was only setting them up for failure if I didn’t get that message across.
So once again, I go mad. I yelled. I threw a tantrum. But this time, I found a solution that worked. I found a solution that didn’t need me to constantly be on them to check up. A solution that requires very little time, but is extremely effective, on a consistent basis.
It wasn’t my idea, but I’m glad whoever had it, had it.
I took away the wi-fi.
When tablets, phones, game consoles, even TVs rely on the Internet to do anything, taking it away can be VERY effective.
So the new rule is this: the password is being changed daily and the only way they can get it is to make sure all their chores are done and their areas are clean. If on any given day they get up and have nothing to do, they have to accomplish something extra before they can have the password. I tell you, I have never seen my kids so eager to pick up a broom. Now, my kitchen is always clean, their rooms are decent and there are no legos or little cars to step on, no wrappers to slip on and no cookie on the bathtub ledge for mice to munch on. (Some of you will get that one…)
Works Like Magic!
Now If I only could get my husband to eat his veggies!
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