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by kristin

lately, the husband and i have been spending lots of time on our computers, often accompanied by some inane show on pbs to entertain the kids. deep down, i’ve been feeling guilty about this, but not guilty enough to change my behavior. i’ve been too tired to play and everybody seemed fine. yeah, lil didn’t seem very interested in talking and the kids were refusing to eat dinner at the table, but everybody seemed fine.

then we realized lily was obsessed with our computers. she began climbing chairs to reach the laptops, feverishly banging on the keyboards until we pulled them away. this followed by tears, rage and general unhappiness. the kid has no idea what a computer is, only that it must be good because mommy and daddy always want them too.

the first few days, we gave her an old dying mac to use as a decoy. the three of us sat (well, one of us stood) on chairs at the table, all pounding away on our computers. i think the husband said it first, the thing i’d been thinking but couldn’t bring myself to say. we have to change our ways. things are starting to go south and it’s all interconnected. i was looking for ways to take a break instead of spending time with my kids, which turned into the beginning of a breakdown in our family communication. it’s amazing how quickly our slide happened, how innocently it began, how intertwined these behaviors are and how hard it’s been for me to give them up.

but i’ll do it for lil. i’m not happy about it, but i’ll do it. so here’s the new regime: no computer time around the girls, no tv, eat at the table all together, read tons of books and talk and play all day long. it amazes me to see how sensitive these kids are to what’s happening around them and how flexible they really are. they’re getting right on board with these changes, which reminds me that i actually am in charge around here. sadie seems happier and lil is already changing. she’s talking more, sits down for dinner, and best of all, doesn’t want anything to do with the computer. which makes one of us.

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Filed under burnout, child development, computers, television

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