So, I had this brilliant idea at the beginning of summer to cut
So, I got the necessary materials for my "summer of no t.v." We already had plenty of reading material. Woody has three C.S. Lewis books that he got for Christmas. Buzz has several Junie B. Jones and Magic Treehouse books that he inherited from Woody. I bought some math workbooks and a journal for each boy. Then, I made the schedule and laid the ground rules:
rule 1: NO television or Game Cube during the week.
rule 1a: (because we need to clarify these things) the week is defined as Monday thru Friday
rule 2: you will read a minimum x amount of minutes each day.
rule 2a: unlike mommy's phone plan, your minutes don't carry over
rule 3 you will do "x" amount of pages in your workbook per day
rule 4 you will write "x" amount of journal pages per day.
rule 4a: single spaced, normal sized writing.
Things were a little rough at first. For example, the first week Buzz went to a soccer camp from 9 to 12 instead of the all day camp with his brother. Hubby took half-days all week so he could be available to pick him up Thanks Hubby! (who doesn't read this blog!). Hubby would feed him lunch and then have him do his reading, writing and workbook. And? When I got home from work, he had nothing to do ((((sigh)))), because he had already finished his stuff! On top of that, twice I came home and found Woody asleep in his bed...where he had been "reading." I also caught Buzz sitting in front of the t.v. a few times, because "he forgot."
Some tweaking of the rules were in order:
rule 5: Start work after mommy gets home.
rule 6: No reading on your bed.
rule 7: Re-read and adhere to rule #1 (and 1a).
The second week went much better. Books were being read and alternate t.v watching activities were being thought of each day.
Anyway, I had a point... oh, the T.V. It used to be that if I told the kids to do something (pick up their clothes, take out the trash, take a shower, etc. I always had the power of turning off the TV if they weren't listening (or worse, hearing but choosing to ignore). And the threat to turn off the video game? Even more powerful, because, OMG, never (ever, under no circumstance) turn.off.the.game.without.saving.it.first! Yeah, big cardinal sin. We go to mommy hell for that. But? They both know I'll do it if provoked. It was an ace up my sleeve, so to speak.
However, after two weeks of the "summer of no t.v.," they have adjusted. But I, on the other hand, have lost my edge. Why? Because suddenly I am without the almighty power of taking the t.v.. away if they are misbehaving or not listening. The rule was I tell them once (for example), "go pick up your clothes from the bathroom." If get no response, I would turn off the t.v. It was like a non-verbal cue for them. T.v. off? "Oh, time to get up and do what mommy says."
Now? Where is their cue? Why did I think "summer of no t.v." also meant summer of suddenly listening to mommy the first time she says to do something? Is it me or does it seem wrong to grab a book out of your child's hand when you want something done? Saying "Stop reading right now young man and clean your room," has no oomph, you know?
Yesterday, I wanted them to start taking their showers, but they were in the middle of an UNO game. After the third time telling one of them to get in the shower and the other to pick up his stuff in the garage, I actually (out of habit) took three steps toward the t.v (fully intending to turn the power off).... that wasn't on.
Yep, they're fine. Me? I'm still adjusting. Seems the t.v. is more of a crutch for me than I thought, and not in the way that I thought!