Ugh! This summer has been tough on our family. Well, the last 4+ months to be honest. Change is never easy, but change is good. When things are tough in life you have to step back and see the positives.
In moving to PA, we had to move into a 2 bedroom townhouse until our house is doing being built. My sons have always had their own rooms. The only time they ever sleep in the same room is when we are on vacation, or when they are staying that their grandparent’s house. Both of these situations typically have later bedtimes, more active days and are only short term situations. Living in the townhouse does not mean super active days, later bedtimes and although in the bigger scheme of things it is short term, but it isn’t a few days, it’s a few months. We have been living with these conditions since the beginning of June and we still haven’t adjusted to the lack of space.
There have been good days and there have been no where near good days. At this point the boys have lost their technology privileges. After hearing them bounce around their room night after night we decided it was time to enforce change. Technology is a reward in our house, not an automatic thing you get just because. It is also very limited even in the summer. I figured that if we took away their technology they would be motivated to fix the bedtime issues. Well that was almost 2 weeks ago and they still haven’t earned it back. They are good for a day or two and then it’s back to crazy bedtime antics.
While this is not fixing the bedtime issue, it is forcing the boys to find other, better ways to entertain themselves day to day. They are outside riding their scooters and bikes for hours. They are setting up hot wheel tracks or playing with monster trucks. We play games, read books and more. They are learning to work together. They are getting better at competing with things that can be fair (which car can travel down this track faster?, who will win this game?) They are playing with other kids and learning to accept other people’s thoughts and opinions. They are talking to each other. They are having conversations.
Now, I will not say that life is perfect. That there aren’t battles. That there aren’t times when I want to scream. There are times I wish they had their own space. There are times when I have even wished I could “plug them in” to give everyone a break. But, I won’t. They will eventually earn their technology back, I never go back on my word with them. There are no empty promises or threats in this family, but that’s a whole other post.
So, while I stand here and listen to them have a Monster Truck race, I realize that I haven’t got what I wanted out of removing the technology, but I may have helped them in a way that is even more important.
Now, if I could just get them to go to sleep!