I fought it. I really, really did. My wife, known to some as She Who Never Gives Up, had been talking about it and badgering me about it for years. Finally, I gave in and told the little dudes they would get no television on school nights. They were, to put it mildly, not happy.
Part of the problem seemed to be that the little dudes were rushing through their schoolwork so they could go sneak some GameBoy time, so those went bye-bye as well. Then they said they needed a computer for school work, only to be found sneaking in a little Bioshock time. Now they only get to use the computer under close, close supervision. I mean, it’s not that we don’t trust them, it’s just that we don’t trust them.
So I put blocks on the cable box for Sunday night through Friday afternoon and I’ve got close control of their electronic games. My better half thought all this would be an easy transition. Of course, she got to see the transition a little removed, since she wasn’t the one who had to enforce it most nights. The little dudes fought back with their entire arsenal of weapons: sulking, yelling, pouting, silent treatment, screaming and, of course, the biggest gun, “That’s not fair. You get to watch t.v.”
We love getting that one, since that allows us to trot out the whole “Life’s not fair” schtick and every parent loves a chance to do that.
Although I haven’t seen the huge gains in scholastic work or outside time that was predicted, I have noticed a few changes. The youngest little dude and I have been engaging in a lot of board games lately. My middle little dude has been playing his bass more and my oldest little dude has been reading a lot of books. So, no, removing t.v. wasn’t a panacea for everything going on in the house, but it does seem to have helped.
And, yes, I’m pretty sure they’re sneaking a little t.v. or videos of some kind when I’m out of the house, say, at football practice. But I’ll catch them. (washes hands and grins evilly) Oh, yes I will. And it will be a day of reckoning.