Wednesday, October 27, 2010


gentleman + sir o

I've been reading while being nursed.  (There's not a whole lot a person can do while lactating).  I finally pressed through and finished Carter Beats the Devil.  That's the first piece of fiction I've finished in almost 2 years.  I congratulate myself for that.  (It helps that it's well-written, has just enough suspense, and is perfectly paced - even if it does indulge in an overly villainous villain.  It made up for that with spunky women. Thanks to my friend Shannon for the recommendation.)
Now I'm reading a book about playing with your children.  It's one of those things where I totally grasp the concept and yet the technique and application seem ever evasive.  When rubber hits the road my brain evaporates and I can't think of anything fun to do with my kids.  Hence the endless hours of streaming netflix on the computer and the wii.  Baaaaad mom.  (Even if I am cutting myself slack, the screentime gets ridiculous, and it makes my kids ornery beyond description when they spend all day zoning out.)
I found one incredibly interesting passage, a quote from Dan Kindlon's latest book.  (I love Dan Kindlon.) A lot of the book seems to be pulled from the Parenting Practices at the Millenium Survey and one part of the survey found 5 common factors among the majority of the 12% of those children surveyed who didn't manifest evidence of any of the problems or risks the study covered.  (Problems ie: drug use, laziness, failure to reach academic potential, depression, and sexual promiscuity.)  The 5 factors were: families that frequently ate dinner together, married parents, they had to keep their room clean, they were not allowed to have a phone in their room, and they regularly did community service.

According to this list, I just need to be more consistent about making Sir O make his bed.... and find some sort of service opportunity for the under-5 set.  I think we'll stick to making artwork to mail to our missionary.

These are goals I can live with.
But I still need to solve the screen-time issue.  What works/has worked for you?


Lizzie said...

Ugh, that is my biggest struggle too! It is sad, Sarah knows how to push the "1" on the Wii remote to play the next episode of Blues clues, Wonderpets or whatever show she is watching.

Some days are great, and we hardly have the tv on at all, and others... blah! And you're right, kids are more cranky after watching a lot of tv. I think I am too, because usually when the tv is on, I'm perusing the internet... gee, I need to get out more.

I have been meaning, for weeks/months now, to make a little schedule board to go by. Sounds overly organized, but I have heard from so many people that it really helps, I think it would even be good for me. Then I can schedule watching just one episode of something during dinner prep time or something. Of course, days never go as planned, but it seems like it could be flexible and maybe worth the time it'd take to make it. I'll let you know if I sit ever sit down to make it. *sigh*

Carolanne said...

Your boys are adorable big and little! I picked up Raising Cain after reading about it on your blog, and it's really changed the way I look at raising my boys. Another one you might like is Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child ( It's more on the academic side than Kindlon's writing sytle, but still really insightful.

And as for the T.V. time, I bet my kids watch more television than yous do, so I don't have any great suggestions, but I plan on stopping back in to see what others offer.

Aubrey said...

Emily, keep cutting yourself slack. The first 3 months of an infants life = unlimited screen time for all other siblings. After that introduce some "technology time" We are very limited with our kids. They are allowed 1 hour per day, which they rarely use when school is in session. This includes, video gaming, TV, or computer time. I, however, fully intend to park Clara in front of Elmo until I can get a handle on the new baby front. Making a definitive schedule for the kids always helps me. Morning chores, learning time, playtime, etc...
You ARE doing a GREAT job!!

Katie May said...

Is it bad that I laughed out loud when I read how Graham dropped the pumpkin?? So funny, and totally typical of an almost 2 year old! I hope you can laugh about it soon, too. (or someday..)

As far as tv time, I totally agree with Aubrey...cut yourself MORE slack. Your kids are happy and that's gotta be the main goal for now. (I just wish I could give you a hand, myself)

And Elliot, dreamy little boy, I wish I could kiss those perfect little cheeks.

Heidi said...

A neighbor came up with the idea for "Wii Days" where they only use the Wii on 3 of the days of the week (in their case it is Mon., Thurs., and Sat.). Not that that's what you're looking for, but I thought it was something different from what I've heard of.

I got your comment about permission for our photo blog, but it seems that I don't have an email address for you and Jim is not a lot of help there. Email me at heidibwebster at gmail dot com.

Angela said...

I agree with Aubrey. First three month equal free pass on the "bad mommyness". It's all about survival in the beginning the schedule comes more naturally later.

Kaydee said...

Like the other post say, you are not alone. It is my biggest guilt right now as a mom, but with a collicky little girl...well. Anyway, He is so beautiful em. I am not even been online in so long, but he really is so darling. I love the name too! I am sorry about the epideral that is the worst. You are a trooper! I am glad you are both okay.

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