Managing Monday’s: Books VS Electronics, part one

Managing Mondays: electronics vs the world part one; grade school

When I was growing up, nature and books did not have a lot of competition. You played outside when you got home, until your mom or Sally’s mom called you in for dinner. If you were lucky you got to go out after dinner was done and the dishes completed. TV was a great early Saturday pastime before anyone was awake. It was not really a big deal, no TV during the week, I did not miss it and I did not care. Flash forward just to the twenty-first century and wow what a change.

Raising kids in this entertainment centered world is tough. The is so much fighting for their attention and time. I know there are books written on this subject, and experts who can give the facts and averages of the obesity, attention disorder and all the other crazy side effects we are now facing in our society because of this. I am just one mom, and I can only tell you what worked for our family.

When the kids were in grade school we were very strict. there was no TV during the school week and they were limited to two hours of time over the weekend. This did not include if they were watching a movie together or sports. During the summer we had a read to play or watch rule. For every hour of reading they would get to have half an hour of electronic time. this included game systems, hand-held, computer time and TV. Every week they would get two free hours and then it was earn it, by reading. Time could not carry over further than one week.

This worked well but, definitely took time to manage. To make it easier we would have a notebook for each of them to record their time. as parents we would have to monitor and check with them regularly. I still think it was worth it and at a young age instilled a desire to read as well as an understanding that it was a privilege to watch TV not an automatic right. We also went to our family cabin on an island for at least three weeks every summer where there was no TV and no electronics allowed at all. Give and take were always important and finding a variety of reading options was essential.

During these years I am proud to say all my kids developed a love for reading. When we look back on the time we spent reading together or reading the same series and being able to talk about it,they will now admit to it being very special highlights of their childhood. This is not to say they did not rebel, whine, complain of child abuse and tell us how we were ruining their childhood. Wow I would say, that was a lot of energy spent on how tough your life is, if you were reading you would have a half hour more on the electronic of your choice. They are quick learners. Next week, the Middle School Battle.


2 Comments so far
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One of my strongest memories from the week at Mayne Island with you (besides the rain 🙂 ) was you reading to us at night before bed. I can still remember slipping into a sleepy dream state while your words painted the story in my head.

Comment by Kate

Thanks Kate, i love it! and I love that you remember that.

Comment by Kari

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