Monday, September 30, 2013

No more ipad, iphone for my boys!

During the last Parent-Teacher meeting in school, Trevor's teacher suggested I stop all iphone/ipad for him. This is same for all the other kids in school as there's an increasing trend of kids getting disengaged in learning, poor socialization skills, kids wearing spectacles and most importantly of all I feel is the addiction! Even when the kids are not playing the games, they are constantly thinking and talking about it. I have been getting frustrated with my boys asking & talking to me about games day and night for some time now, and I know there's something very wrong here. Kids should be spending more time outdoors, catching spiders, playing footballs, excited n curious about everything under the sun! But no... I dont see that in my kids much these days. And who's to blame? I dont know. But as a parent I think I have to be really mindful about planning activites for the kids as it's easy to fall into the trap of the digital age.

The teacher in school told me that she did it with her kids, she totally stop all eletronic games for her 2 kids. At first I was skeptical! I mean.. really!?!?!? HOw??? I talked to Chris that night and we decided that ya, we can't just limit their usage because they are really missing out on so much more wonderful stuff when they are eating, thinking, living in the digital world. So this is it!

We have stopped all smart phone usage for them except for some selected computer games and selected (recorded) suitable TV shows. But it's not easy of course. There's were some withdrawal syndromes, but we stuck to it and in place of it, we started spending more 'quality' time (as mentioned in my last post) playing board games, reading, cooking, planting together. So I guess we are on the right track. Now the challenge is to keep it up and be consistent!

We had some troubles... one main one being other kids having these games and their friends talking and playing these games which they are not allowed to... Well, as a mom, I don't want him to hate me for a start! and I don't want them to the weird kid that did not fit in as well. I tried to explain to him that not all the things that everyone is doing is the right thing to do. I explain to him why we have chosen not to play all these games at all was so that we can have more fun doing other stuff. I can feel him feeling sad when we go out and other parents let their kids play the phone and he doesn't get to play it. But I guess this is part of life, you have to choose what's best for you and your kids. Not what everyone else is doing. Change is painful and a process, it takes time, yet change is necessary for something better.

And another thing that I'm trying to do... (haven't figure it out yet) is to cut down digital time for me as well! Children learn through modelling. They learn their ways through imitating and habits at home. You can see why the child behave in certain ways when you see the parents and siblings. They all behave the same/similar ways. It's quite cute actually! SOoo.. where did they first learn to play these electronic games? through us! the Adults in their life!

When I first got my smart phone, I was so excited as I can do so much when during the time I'm breastfeeding or waiting in line... etc... But I realised I am compromising my quality with my baby. I used to sing rhymes and prayers to my other kids when I breastfeed them. Now, I'm just checking my emails and facebook when I feed Tyler... I think smart phones are a wonderful inventions and I still my smartphone but if we're not careful it's consuming our lives, we are no longer living the moments and we are compromising on more important things in life.
 I saw this video... it's so true and sad isn't it?

This is from a book that I'm reading now, I can't find the quote that I wanted to share... but it has something to do with comparing kids getting addicted to these electronics as losing your child's soul to the digital world... Scary! you wont see the effects until they are older but habits start from young, so we should be really careful what we are giving to our kids.

Will do a little book review later on but this is another good read for anyone who has son/s. I realized my problem of not getting through to my kids may be because I'm not a boy! I have 3 boys so I probably need to know understand them and how to talk to them.

Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Meg Meeker
(you can read some pages of the book on amazon, and there're some great reviews by other parents.)
(I googled the title and this came up- a summary/content of what's in this book, have a read :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spending one on one time with each child, tough but it's the secret to obedient children!

I have been having some tough time with kids last couple of months getting them to listen to me and getting them to do simple routine everyday task like brush your teeth, eat your breakfast, wash your hands, go and bathe, do your school homework..etc.. No one knew how tough it is to get kids to do these task independently!

A few months back, I came across Amy McCready's, attended their webinar, but I didnt sign up for their online parenting course. ( I think I need it but not so willing to pay for it yet) so I got hold of the book "If I Have to Tell You One More Time..." read it and but didnt put it in practice.

When I hit rock bottom of screaming at kids every single day... risking my baby going deaf... and buying a 'rotan' and keeping behind my bedroom door I realised I need help! I thought to myself, my boys aren't 'bad' kids, it's just that they gets on my nerves when I have to tell them to do simple stuff like a million times a day!

I read the book again and this time I took a note book and wrote down notes. The author uses 'toolbox' to describe the different strategy of tackling parenting challenges.  She says that everyone need to feel a sense of belonging and significance. If they can't get it positively, they will get the attention they need negatively (without realising it). And the first thing that hit me was this: " a rebellious child is a discouraged child " which is so true. A uncooperative/disengaged child is a child who wants to be loved, who is feeling neglected and who feels they don't belong and are not significant in the world. This is true and pretty sad when I think about it.

So.. the first tool that I attempted is 'Mind Body and Soul' which is spending special one to one time with each child, preferably 2 X 10 mins a day. I am starting with once 10mins a day before bedtime or before school.  Well I'm a stay at home mom and I practically spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week with them, but I realised that I am with them physically but my mind is somewhere else. So I've started  since 1st September with what I call it 'Special Time' with each of my boys, almost everyday, and I am happy to say that I'm screaming less!  It's not magic, but I can see that they are more responsive when I call them and more willing to cooperate to get the routine stuff done. Which is such a relieve for a mom!

The goal, like the author said, 'is to forget when was the last time I raised my voice'!

Here's another article that talks about this special one on one time with each child as well. Read it, it's enlightening.

I'm taking it step by step, hopefully I will read the goal! :)


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