The past few months have been rough for our whole family. My first grader started a brand new school the same week I got sick and the combo has resulted in many changes. He is learning and maturing, but the changes I’m thinking about are not good ones.
He stopped listening to me.
This is my firstborn, “easy” kid who has always been great at following directions. I’m not sure if he is trying to get my attention since I haven’t been available enough or he has learned that he doesn’t have to listen from his new peers, but I will not allow it.
I’ve tried different discipline techniques including allowance and charts which all seem to work for a few days before we get busy and the results diminish.
This weekend the lack of listening got to a point where I decided there will be no more screen time until he shows me that he can listen. I gave the speech about TV being a privilege, but secretly worried how I would entertain him in those hours he usually zones out in front of the television or computer.
This morning my early riser got up before the sun had come up. He usually quietly goes downstairs and watches television while the rest of the family squeezes in a few more minutes of sleep. Instead of Pokemon, he got comfortable and quietly read a Magic Treehouse book.
My daughter woke up next and went downstairs as usual to cuddle up with her brother. Since there was nothing to watch, she quickly decided to go back to her room and play.
As I got ready, I wasn’t disrupted by the television in the background – dare I say it was peaceful? By the time I arrived downstairs for breakfast both of my kids were dressed, without me asking them to – which is about as close as you can get to a miracle in my house.
We had a nice calm breakfast actually talking, casually headed to the car towards school and arrived EARLY!
The best part is my heart wasn’t racing, I wasn’t irritated or rushing. I was simply enjoying my children at 8 a.m.
I’m well aware this was only a couple hours and I’m not sure how long I will be able to enforce this rule. For me the lesson was to break the routine, receive excellent results and hopefully be heard again.
Have you notice a correlation between television and listening in your house?