The Tell Tale Technology

So here we go with another kid story, apparently that’s all I do these days parent. I won’t lie I love it. Moving on.

Having a new born, I will admit my eldest has had free run of her tablet time. Normally I have a time limit, but being that it is summer break where we are and I’ve had a fussy baby lately, she has had her fill of all the gamer gurus and toy reviewers she could possibly want. This has been a convenient means of keeping her entertained while I tend to the newest member of the family. (Running her outside isn’t an option at this point since our backyard looks like it was home to Tarzan, we need a mower a story for a different day. Plus I don’t want someone to call the law because heaven forbid I put her in a fenced in backyard and let her play by herself, again different story.) She also has a workbook her teacher this year recommended her working through over the summer because she has a hard time in school. She makes excellent grades but it is a struggle for her, and as most of you know, practice is the only way to get better at most things. I imagine you can see where this is going.

So each day has been a struggle between the tablet, the workbook, her reading (yes she has to practice that too. I know I’m a mean mom, its cool.), and her chores. Usually I just have to mention the loss of her tablet and magically everything gets done in less than an hour and a half and she poofs back to her tablet. Today was as usual a struggle, but I offered her an exchange which she decided to take instead though begrudgingly. Her cousin’s birthday was today and she has two other cousins who like to hear from her, so I told her instead she could write them all a card. A birthday card for one cousin and the other two a simple postcard saying “hi” was the only requirement. Social skills meet writing practice and it would honestly be less time for her, win/win for everyone right? Wrong.

One giant fit, a horrible birthday card I am not sending to my nephew, and the struggle of having to redo the card later and she lost her tablet for the rest of today and tomorrow. We are going back to the earning time system. Hopefully that will resolve most of the problem and we won’t see her lose the tablet for good.

Why is this so significant? My child normally is very compliant, she doesn’t rock boats to much, and she goes with the rules. As it stands I could leave her tablet in her room in plain sight and she wouldn’t touch it until she was told she could have it back. That is just her wiring. The workbook wasn’t an issue until her screen time increased, chores were actually something she enjoyed doing and mostly did without prompting once they were established in her routine, and she loved decorating and sending cards, as she loves arts and crafts. Her whole attitude has changed since she her screen time has been unlimited. (It is my fault I admit it and no she isn’t watching inappropriate things, she is watching the same people she was before screen time became an unlimited thing for her.) People laugh and say that people exaggerate that to much screen time is a myth, but I have the evidence here in hand (or sight rather). In a week once she is over the reinstated restriction, I hope to see my sweet child return and the other one leave for good. (I don’t count teenage years that’s a horror all in itself and again a story for another day.)

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