Summer is here.
School is out.
But lest you think it’s been a free for all around here–as was hoped for by my crew–let me reassure you. No.
It has not.
I could see the gleam in their eyes. They were hopeful. Then they planned. And tried to manipulate and work the system.
To no avail.
Because I was one step ahead of them, you see. I’ve been at this job for over 20 years. Experience has to count for something.
So I took a cue from something that was being shared and shared again on the social media. Using popsicle sticks to earn rewards.
I sat down with my sticks and sharpies and created one for each task/opportunity and the minutes associated with it.
Because, let’s face it, time with electronic devices trumps money around here. These people love their Minecraft, Madden 13 or 15 or whatever, movies, music, etc etc etc. Oftentimes, I refer to it as the Grumpy Screen, as it seems that staring at it for vast amounts of time makes folks grumpy. Sometimes it’s them because of disagreements (“he took my pickaxe” “she burned my house down” “but I don’t want to play that football game with him” “we’ve already watched that episode–six times”), and sometimes it’s me because I want them off.
Why in the world do we have all these Legos and dolls and cars and whatnot anyway?
So yes, things like unloading the dishwasher and folding/putting away clothes and math practice and so on can earn time with their favorite games.
It’s not been foolproof, but it’s worked pretty well–that whole knowing what is expected of them has helped folks know how to get on and behave and the like.
Yep. That right there. Knowing what’s expected.
It has cut down on a lot of misunderstandings around here.
So, in the spirit of that concept and how well it has worked, I’d like to share this for the world of social media–especially as it has grown to exist in the past six months.
If you want me to read all the things you are concerned about, things you want to complain about–first you have to earn my attention.
In the same way that my children have to earn their screen time, you have to earn my time by first expressing things worth reading–positive, encouraging, empowering, caring, compassionate words and thoughts and stories. Shoot, some days kittens jumping at cucumbers will suffice. I’m not hard to please.
Except that all the negativity and hate…..I’m over it. I’m tired of all the finger pointing and accusations and hate speech and fear-mongering. The fear-mongering may be the worst of all (in my opinion) because it tends to lead to the other three and all kinds of deterioration happens from there.
My Daddy used to tease Mama about the right hand ledger and the left hand ledger. Things she did for the betterment of those around her “went” on one side, but if she bemoaned one bit about the time it took or how tired she was from her efforts, he teased her that it negated what she’d done because it had to go on the other side of the “page.”
There’s a bit of truth in that. (Well, not about you, Mama.)
If we are always negative and sharing all of the angry, ugly memes and thoughts and quoting folks who are stirring up things just for the sake of dividing folks, then I expect few people are going to pay attention when we find something really good and want to share it.
And somehow when I thought about this, I thought about my children having to earn their time on the devices.
It’s all about balance, isn’t it? Not all play without some effort put forth…..and not all the anger without some efforts to make good changes in our world.
I wonder if maybe we could use the popsicle sticks for Facebook and other outlets– we’d have to post so many good, inspiring, helpful things before we are allowed to post ones that complain or accuse.
It’s a thought.
Wishing you all a good balanced day and a dishwasher that needs unloading for an easy way to earn minutes for playing on your devices….. 🙂
Love to all.