Saturday, August 11, 2012

Feeling like a bit of a silly mother...

Today I had an 'Ah ha!' moment about one of my children and why he is the way that he is.  This insight actually would apply to all of my children to some degree, but this one child in particular.

My children frequently ask me for 'screen time', which to them means playing some form of electronic game, either DS, PSP, X-Box or computer.  I have concerns about how much time a child should spend on 'screen time', so we have a daily limit of 30 mins, (which is sometimes extended to 1 hr as many games are hard to complete without some longer play times).

One of my children in particular will ask, beg, plead for screen time and may end up in tears if it is denied.  Today, after an episode of crying, I decided to find out why he feels the need to have screen time.  That's when I had my Ah-ha moment.  He is definitely an introvert, and in a crowded house, with two brothers sharing his room, he NEVER has any place to go to just be alone.  Screen time is his form of time out from everyone, and that's why he gets so upset when he misses out on it.

After some discussion about it, he agreed that if we could find some way for him to be alone and have time out from others, he wouldn't feel like he had to have screen time so much.  Now I just need to figure out how to create a space for the boys where they can go to have time out when they need it.

I feel like a bit of a silly mother to have taken so long to register that the boys need alone time and space for themselves.


kelgell said...

You're not a silly mother. A busy one though and not everyone is aware of the things that other people need. I for one am aware of my own need for alone time. (I'm presently enjoying a day off away from the family and constantly filled house just chilling at the pub to use their internet. Also had a pedicure earlier. ^^ ) Alone time in a house of 7 people would certainly be a challenge to find. Got a free cupboard?? I suspect not. Is your toilet separate to the bathroom? You could set up a playarea in the bathtub perhaps for some non-screen alone play. Perhaps make a cubby for him with an old sheet or blanket under a table or something that when it's up only he's allowed in. You might be able to manage a corner for him. Is he on a bunk? You could maybe screen his bed but that would still be in the other boys' room as well where they should be allowed to go if they want. It's a tricky one. I hope you a blessed wonderfully with a great house to live when you move that is a bit more suitable for a family of seven.

Kylie said...

Longer-term solution:

A backyard complete with a dog.

I know, not helpful in the immediate future, but next year?