Monday, March 15, 2010
kids and electronics, office max freebies
Stupid Tax: Friday night we were going to see The Blind Side (see Friday post)...let's just say it didn't happen. The boys and I returned home from the big G'boro shop and Aaron said, "Mom, Will and I have the Cotillion Ball tonight." Now, for those of you not from the South, Cotillion is a 7 session course in etiquette/ballroom dance steps that isn't exactly free. I didn't force my kids to go...the 3 oldest have attended. The spring ball is the grand finale...the one thing I really wanted them to attend. It is complete with a 5 course meal that teaches them table manners that this country hick is completely unaware of. When Aaron said this, it was 5:10 pm. They were supposed to be there at 5:30. I still had time!! But NO! They were supposed to properly RSVP, and I set aside the forms so the boys wouldn't forget, and then forgot. They couldn't go. They did, however, attend the formal dance that followed and I waltzed with my son...and Aaron won the beach shag contest....that boy is smooth! So, all things considered, that faux pas cost me the $60.00 I saved in Greensboro. Life with a half-wit...
Not many freebies out there right now. Office Max is offering a bunch of office supplies free after rebate if you have an maxperks card. You can order by internet and shipping is free. You can also sign up for an maxperks card on their site. Check out the link at http://www.southernsavers.com/.
I also wanted to touch on the subject of kids and electronics. My husband read an article recently that said the average teen spends 7.5 hours a day using electronic devices...phone, computer, ipod, TV....wow!! Part of this is "multi-tasking:" kids text each other while simultaneously trying to do homework. One of the teachers at our school asked his students if their parents put any time restrictions on electronics. NOT ONE KID SAID YES. That really surprised me. I'm not anti-electronics (obviously....I'm sitting here banging away on a computer), but we do limit our kids and ourselves. None of our kids (ages 16, 14, 13, 11) have cell phones. Mike has one through work and I have a tracfone that I pay $100.00 a year for. (I don't even know the #; it really is for emergencies.) We have told our kids that they when they get their license, we will give them a tracfone to use. If they want a different cell phone, they will have to pay for it themselves. I can't tell you how many times now that I've seen a whole family sitting somewhere in the public sqaure and they all have their cell phones out...and aren't talking to each other. Like I said, we aren't against them. Obviously, cell phones are a very good thing...I just think it's a bit much when we don't know how to talk to each other face-to-face anymore.
We also don't have cable TV, and rarely have the TV on at all during the week. Sometimes on the weekend we watch a movie. I can't even keep my head above water without TV.
We also have no game systems at our house here. We have an Xbox in Maine that someone gave us...it stays in Maine. The kids do have few computer games on old laptops that were given to us. They are allowed to play 30 minutes a day as long as their homework is done and band instuments have been practiced. Sometimes we give them more time on the weekend.
The oldest 3 have ipods...if you followed the story of the wreck, you know they got those as gifts while in the hospital.
I am the only person in the house who has the password for the computer with internet. No one is allowed on if Mom and Dad aren't home and generally speaking, they only get to use it for school related things. They do all go to the library once a week and spend an hour on the computers there. That's about the extent of electronic use at our house.
Obviously, we all have different stanards. Maybe I'll look back one day and say, "Oh, I really regret not letting you watch TV and play video games 8 hours a day. If only we hadn't been reading together (which we still do), we might have had more time for that." Maybe...but I doubt it. Your thoughts?