Just one thing

I’m the first to admit that this parenting thing is hard work.  I’m the one that has to carry my son out of the public library because he doesn’t want to be done with the computer.  I’m the one who’s daughter asks for everything she sees at Walmart and thinks she should be able to buy everything.  I’m the one who forgets to sign her daughter’s planner.  I’m the one who buys popcorn chicken at Walmart for my kids to eat for dinner too often.  The TV is on too much and the list could go on and on.

Last week the nights were great in our house.  I’m not sure if it was preschool or a bribe from a neighbor but Parker has slept in his bedroom, without a fuss for the entire night for 6 nights straight.  I can’t even remember the last time he slept all night in his room for one night, let alone going on a week!  Usually even if he starts in his bed, he ends up on my floor in a sleeping bag.  I’ve never fought the sleep thing too hard.  I’m a big believer in choosing my battles.  I’m not a fan of a “family bed”.  There’s nothing about feet and elbows poking me all night that is wonderful to me, but I also don’t think most high school kids still sleep in their parents room, so I haven’t been too strict.  Paige used to never want to sleep in her bed and then kindergarten happened, she got tired and now bedtime is easy for her.  I’ve just been praying the same will happen to Parker.

The afternoons were exactly the opposite.  There is approximately two hours between the time the kids and I get home and Blake gets home.  One of my good friends refers to this time as the witching hour.  Something about these hours turn my children into crazy people.  I’ve been trying different approaches:  give everyone a “screen” and let them be, don’t allow any “screens”, go run errands and keep everyone busy, make everyone help me with dinner preparations…and no matter what, there is always drama.

I’ll admit that I am a fan of TV.  I watch some pretty mindless television.  I grew up in a house where the TV was always on even just as background noise.  It is part of who I am.  As a parent, I am beginning to see it’s evil ways.  Watching too much Power Rangers turns my son into a fighting machine.

Yesterday we had a little road trip to KC.  We didn’t do anything super fun, just knocked things off the to-do list and did have a great dinner with my parents but besides that, it was mainly just errands.  During the trip, Paige made a comment about Parker watching TV and never playing with her.  This is a funny comment in a lot of ways because Paige is a TV princess herself.  I always said her favorite day is a day of traveling to my grandparents in Ohio:  14 hours where she can sit and watch movies and eat junk food and not get in trouble for it.

So I had an idea.  I declared Sunday a “screen-free” day for the kids.  Screens=TVs, DS, iPads, and anything else that has a screen.  Blake begged to not be included because the Chiefs were playing after all so he got a free pass.

Today’s “screen-free” day was a hit!  The kids played with toys they haven’t played with in a long time and even played together really well!  I definitely think this is something we are going to carry on each Sunday.

Do you have screen free days at your house?

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