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Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Days to a Kinder Family: Update after 2 weeks

Change take time, right?

There have been very subtle changes in behavior, but I don't actually attribute them to the video ban.

We cut videos, computer games and Wii out of our lives for the first week. The first couple of days were full of resentment and recriminations. But it wasn't long before nobody was asking about and complaining about the TV or computer. It was probably a much needed break.

Their behavior and treatment of one another did not really change at all, for the better or the worse.

After the first week, I was beginning to realize that our issues run much deeper than whether or not the kids watch any videos. There is something much more basic going on.

The second week, we did allow some video. They watched the 2nd half of the Junglebook (we had started it before the video freeze) and they watched Wall-E. We have allowed them to play a few computer games and a couple of Wii games. Game time is limited to 1/2 hour.

Now, here's the thing...the computer is definitely more of a draw than the TV and infinitely more of a draw for the oldest than for the other children. But, here's the other side of that: we've decided that strictly outlawing it is not in anyone's best interest, at least not right now. But, I consider computer use somewhat dangerous for everyone, not just the kids. More on that in another post.

So, if technology is not ultimately the culprit for the troubles we are having, what is? And let me be clear here, I don't say that technology plays no part. It does, but in a different way than you might expect. It's not the root of the problem with the kids.

The real problem, and this is painful to me. Hubby bears some responsibility here, too. But I'm the one they see all day.

Parenthood is a challenging job, probably the most challenging job I have ever had or ever will have. But it's all on the job training. Unless you are blessed to have really excellent role models, you often find yourself flailing about trying to figure it all out.

I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest, I called my best friend, the one I've known since the 4th grade, to tell her.

Her response? "What do you know about being a parent?"

Splutter! As irritated and annoyed as I was at the time, I know now she was right. What do any of us know about being parents until we are parents.

I've discovered that I've got some growing to do. It seems God is always molding me, changing me, stretching me in ways that I don't really want to be stretched. Just when we think we've reached a pretty good point in our lives and we start patting ourselves on the collective back...well, you know how it goes.

So, the new name for this series is "30 Days to a Kinder Mom." And forgive me if I post less frequently, my family needs me.


  1. Good for you! The ugly reflections I see in my home are often rooted in my own selfishness. We've been working on kindness at our house too, although it doesn't come quickly. But most fruit worth growing takes time. God bless you and your family!

  2. Yes, that's the way it is, isn't it. It's very humbling, but I'm so grateful that God is able to work with our weaknesses. Otherwise my kids would be scarred for life.

    Being at home all the time, they will notice our worst moments as well as our good ones, but then they will also learn that we can repent, apologize, and try again...over and over and over.

    Thanks for being real.

    Annie Kate

    PS. I thought our schooling was going nowhere until this week. You, also, probably have it all more together than you think you do.

  3. Thank you for your bluntness. It has been making me take a look at me too.


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