When I announced a plea to go screen free and have a hard reset before school starts, the teenagers acted like I was asking them to hold their breath until I said stop.
Side Note: The trouble with having a gaggle of children in your family is that at some point they get older, and band together, much like a wolf pack. My set of four teens (ages 17-14): Jake, Phoenix, Em and Milla (and soon to be MJ, ack!) have grown up and into an unbreakable bond. As a result, they have learned the subtle art of luring me into the middle so they can pounce. Well played on their part, I must say. However, when they stick up for each other like this (even when they did something wrong), I get tangled in the conflict easily. If they didn’t defend each other with such hard core allegiance, I wouldn’t find myself arguing with one kid about the other while they are sitting right next to me.
In the case of screens and teens and my sudden aptitude for inhumanity (well, according to them), their wolf-pack tactic was in full play:
But I insist. This hard reset is all about developing new habits. It’s about cutting way back and figuring out where the trouble spots are and finally arriving at what the balance is. I believe wholeheartedly that we can do better than this, and I fully accept the blame in not setting these boundaries from the get-go. But in my So Called Mom spirit, I’m fixing it now, and that’s what matters. Because there’s nothing worse than contributing to a generation of kids who can’t look 6-12 inches past their noses.
As of 24 hours later, I still feel grounded and confident in this decision. Everyone has been keeping busy enough with board games and going outside. But Hmmm, what will Day TWO bring us?