I’ve written about my concerns over screen time in the past. The boys are still as interested in playing computer/video games as ever, although I’ve noticed that television time has decreased significantly. This pleases me. I think we have a healthier balance going on in general.
Both of my younger boys are very, very, very fond of playing Wii games. Specifically, the Lego Indiana Jones game has been the source of many happy hours of play. They even discuss the game and various strategies when they’re not actively playing it. “I’m first on the Wii!!!” is a common claim especially when we’re driving into the driveway from a shopping trip.
In the case of Captain Earthquake, we may be at an addiction level though. If he doesn’t get game time, he gets a little… cranky.
I was starting to see a lot of complaining when morning lessons started and finally told him that boys who pout would lose privileges. Like computer games, television, or the Wii. I worked very hard to get him accustomed to this policy. The first day we used it, he lost TV rights, which was easy. Another day it was the computer, and on another it was both TV and computer. I knew he could survive if he still had his beloved Wii time. Unfortunately, the pouting continued and yesterday I took the plunge and told him no Wii for the day.
This was not a popular decision.
He did some crying and yelling, and I managed to just be calmly sympathetic. Later he told me he was grumpy because he couldn’t play the Wii, and I asked if he understood that he lost the Wii because he was grumpy. He grudgingly said yes. Victory!!
The problem came when he snuck down to watch his brother play on the Wii later on in the afternoon. It wasn’t a matter of forgetting his consequence. He deliberately disobeyed. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I suggested to Hubby that perhaps Captain Earthquake would have to lose another day of Wii time. Hubby agreed, and the Captain didn’t freak out so today he had a second day of no Wii.
He was tremendously impressive. Schoolwork was done without complaint, and there was no crying over missing the Wii either. We managed to stay busy with other activities and he managed to be happy. He did forget and sat down to watch his twin for a few minutes, but self-corrected and came to talk to me about it.
Tomorrow as soon as school is over, I’m pretty sure I know what my boy will be doing. It’s screen-time well earned, and I’m proud of him for making it today without complaint. Hopefully he’ll remember this and we can avoid the grumpiness for a while.
Photo graciously provided by Leonski, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved