Stone Soup for Five: Too much plugged-in

Too much plugged-in

Video games are the bane of my existence.  I love them because I really do need quiet, non-kid time, and it is something they love.  But I HATE them because rarely, very rarely is it as peaceful as my mind wants it to be. There's fighting over how long they play for, who forgot to set the timer, who gets to play two player with whom, and then when they are playing two player, who killed, hurt, maimed, or didn't team up with the other and there is real-life yelling and fighting.

Over A Video Game.

Then, after the game/fighting/turmoil, the boy brains seem to have been sucked dry from all creativity and all they can do is wander aimlessly until the next time they can play.

I'm so over it.

For the last few weeks, the video games/facebook/internet has been banned during the school week.

That has helped.

But it's hard.  Especially for me who has to endure the "WHY?!" whining, and the "There's NOTHING to do" laments.

But I wanted to encourage any moms out there who have similar problems... and encourage an Unplugged Night once a week.

Our first official Unplugged Night was last night.  We usually have Sunday Tea on Sunday evenings and then everyone goes their separate ways... one to the video games, one or two to the internet, my husband to the laptop and I am usually chomping at the bit for someone to get off the internet so I can check facebook or email, or pinterest...

BUT, last night there was NO television, NO video games, and all computers were turned OFF.

Here's a breakdown of our night.

7:00 pm.  Mom announces "Unplugged Night".  Panicked cries of "WHAT?!  No TV either!?  What are we supposed to do!?!??!"

7:01  Mom assures them they'll be able to find something.  Either that, or get ready for bed, or they could clean toilets.

7:02  Cries died down and the boys sat in the living room, slouched in chairs.  Mr. Measure and I at the dining room table.  Mr. Measure shut down the laptop and got out his AWANA book to finish memorizing for the year.  I got out my homeschool stuff to plan the week for the boys.

7:30  By now the boys dragged the Lego box out into the living room and were telling each other what to build, neither building anything.  The youngest joined us at the dining room table with some paper, artbook, and pencils and started drawing.

8:10  My youngest then grabbed the calculator sitting on the table and was playing with it and giving me long multiplication problems to do while he checked them with the calculator.  (987x654. ugh)  But I got them right and he went back to art.  The oldest two were finally building with Legos.

8:15  The older two started begging for Monday off school to 'celebrate' my birthday.  I told them there would be no greater way to celebrate than for me to see them learning and getting along together... at which I got rolled eyes and floppy kids and sighs.

8:16 Nate asked me:  "Hey!  How come YOU get to do a job you love and I have to do school that I hate?"  I took huge advantage at this opening to discuss the benefits of working hard at school so you can CHOOSE your job, rather than end up doing something you hate, because you didn't work for something more.

8:25 Nate decided he wanted to make a display for his huge lego guns he's been building lately, so he took it upon himself to clean off his shelves in his room, move the shelf, and make a nice display area.  By this time our youngest moved over to the Legos to build with his oldest brother (no fighting... what?!)

8:45  Nate set up his display shelves then came back out,  I had most of my planning done, Mr. Measure was falling asleep at the table and Aaron and Nate started bickering, so it was bedtime.

9pm.  All had teeth brushed, jammies on, and in bed.

It wasn't a perfect night at all, but it was a start, and I'm hoping to make Sunday Night Unplugged a tradition.

Have you seen a difference between unplugged and plugged in attitudes/actions?

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