The kids seem to be extra rude and obnoxious lately and have completely forgotten how to use manners with me, Chris, between themselves and their friends.
How to handle that and get some happy thoughts and manners back in the house?
This morning as the kids were eating breakfast I let them know that they got to pick out a cartoon to watch but that was the only show they would get to watch today. I also let them know that the computer was off limits today and any games that they might have that they can play by holding in their hands (DS, Wii, Leapster, etc.). The handheld games aren't as big of a deal for my kids since they usually only play these when we are on long car rides. The computer is something that they like to play on maybe once every other day or every few days. The t.v., they like their t.v.
The kids got to spend a lot of time today talking to each other, laughing, playing outside, reading and using that creative side of their brain to fill in the time rather than veg in front of the t.v. We do a lot of that anyways since we usually have a house full of kids. This time though...they had some blocks of time where they found those creative juices and just went with it. A few times I would look over and the kids all had scissors in their hands and were just cutting away at different paper creations. We now have some beautiful artwork hanging in our day care room that they made without any direction.
The kids know that this lapse of electronic equipment isn't just a one day thing though...it is 4days. We will do this all over again tomorrow. My hope is that at the end of this trial they will remember what all those nice words are that they should be using instead of the nasty things that have been coming out of their mouths lately. I also wish that they will think of different activities to do rather than automatically think that they should just go turn on the t.v. to occupy their time. I don't like having a t.v. on in the background during a meal, having it on while another activity is going on, having it on just because something "important" is on and you don't want to miss part of it and most importantly, having the t.v. on when no one is even in the room and watching it. This last point has happened a few times lately and it has just baffled me that no one even notices at times that something is on that has sound and pictures to see and is literally right in front of our faces.
My theory is that the less time spent with these 3 things = happier kids that are talking a little bit nicer to each other. If 4 days doesn't work we may just start again next week.