The Internet

Some next level parenting stuff right here

My kids spend too much time on The Internet.
There. I said it.
I don’t want to be one of those parents but I also very much like it when I can escape to the peace and quiet of my bedroom and plug into The Internet myself.
I’m a bad parent.
Bite me.
Relatively frequently, like weekly-ish, I have a lightbulb moment where I think to myself Man, I super need to cut back on the kids internet time. But I don’t. Sometimes I even threaten them that I will. “Daughter, if you don’t have all of your laundry done tonight and this room cleaned, I am unplugging the wifi.” But I don’t. And on the rare occasions that The GingerBeard Man does, I’m usually the first one asking him to turn it back on. For Pete’s sake, man, I can’t be internetless. What if something happens? We won’t even know about it. Like there could be a war! Also: facebook.
As I’ve mentioned here like a half a dozen times, we are in a transitional state in my house right now. Older daughters moving away and cutting the amount of children I have at home in half and all that… It’s a good time to establish new rules, chores, expectations… It’s a good time to, you know, maybe cut back on screen time. Because holy shit, my kids spend like all their free hours online. And kids have a lot of free hours. My kids are even using some of their NOT free hours and shirking their responsibilities which is where I am headed with this whole thing.
This morning, my almost fourteen year old daughter didn’t go to school. Why? Because she didn’t put her clothes in the dryer Sunday or Monday and they were still sitting in the washing machine leaving her pantsless. Could she have still went to school? Yep. She could have reworn the pants she wore yesterday. But the fact is that she woke up late this morning, she wasn’t prepared and she gave up. And my thinking is that she just plain stayed up way too damn late on the internet fooling around last night. And it’s enough.
So I sent The GingerBeard Man a message this morning and told him we needed some kind of device to control their access to the internet. Could we do it with the wifi router? Technically, yes. We’re both in IT, it’s all configurable. But I wanted something easier. So he sends me the link to Circle. I’d had a grand total of five sips of coffee and I basically impulse ordered it. About an hour later, I was thinking maybe I should have done a little more research. But the more I researched, the more I like it. It’s a pretty awesome device and I am mega stoked about it arriving so we can set it up and start setting up some limitations.
Now my next major kid complaint is the lack of chores that are getting done. (I’m sound like a super great mom in this post huh?) There is a significant amount of ebb and flow when it comes to chores. And it’s usually directly connected to how enthusiastic I am about whatever chore method I have in place at the time. If you can find it on pinterest, I’ve probably done it. Check lists on the fridge? Yup. Chore charts? Oh yeah. Giant dry erase boards? Of course. There’s not much in the realm of chores and children I haven’t explored. And when I get all gung-ho about it, I roll in ready to MAKE CHANGES! Come on Family! This is EXCITING! Insert here the collective groan of said family as they buckle up for what will undoubtedly be yet another torture event sponsored by their mother and her need to change shit and make them do stuff in a New! Fun! way.
Well, buckle up, Family. Mommy found a new toy.
I downloaded an app today called Chorma. It’s for chores! And it allows you to set them up as recurring and assign points for them. Some can be assigned to a kid specifically, others can be “claimed” so whoever wants to do them, presumably to earn points, can grab them. So here’s my evil plan: super limited internet time regulated by the new Circle. BUT! They can “buy” more internet time with their chore points! Or, in the case of my youngest who may not care quite as much about the internet, we can put together other things she can get with points. Like going swimming or going to the movies or something. You can create individual rewards within the app. Which I think is pretty cool.
So, I will check back and let you all know how it goes once the Circle comes in 🙂 In the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions or things you do in your home, I’d love to hear them.