Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Nudge

Faithful readers may remember a time, not so very long ago, when I decided to lift my boot from Finn and Lucy's neck, so to speak, and let them manage their time using computers and other devices with screens. Until that point, I had set pretty strict limits and their cries of being digitally deprived fell like lotus petals on a stone, which is to say I totally ignored them. After much inner and outer debate, I realized that my strict rules were teaching them nothing except that computer time was something precious and perhaps even forbidden in the most delicious way. In other words, my rules were doing exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do. So, off came the ban! Plug in and drop out. Or something like that.

Alas, it was something like that. I fully expected a backlash - days of being totally sucked into their screens. And I got it. How long? Dear god, how long would they sit, eyes glued to a little screen, life passing by unnoticed?

I have tried to be patient and most of the time, I succeed. But yesterday, I just couldn't take it anymore. While our friends returned for another day of helping in the garden that will provide food for their stomachs; friends who have serious health concerns that include and are not limited to stroke and sciatica, while this was happening, a certain someone who shall remain nameless was sitting in his pajamas on the couch essentially watching TV on the computer.

Silently, but mercilessly, I approached him, shut the computer, took it out of his hands, and put it away in a drawer in another room. He was not silent, although I was surprised that his protests were not worse. I think his most cutting remark was along the lines of "You are so annoying."

Fifteen minutes later, he came out of the house, donned some work gloves and, dare I say it, proceeded to work quite happily with the rest of us in the garden. I would go so far as to say he had a good time.

Now here's the really amazing thing. Later in the day, when I went in to start supper, both he and his sister spontaneously and cheerfully decided to dig rocks out of our new potato patch.

I took some photographic evidence lest I wake up the next day and find it was all a dream.



Sometimes it take a nudge to shift to a new state of mind. My radical unschooling friend may disagree, but I still think that sometimes it takes a nudge.

1 comment:

OfTroy said...

children, will to a large degree, do what there parents do.

You live a full active life--they tend to model after you.

My own children at times wanted to be like their peers--and to have store bought bread (i mostly eat store bought bread these days myself) but I persisted in making bread.

now as adults, both my children make bread. (not all the time, but enough that there children will have memories of it
(did i mention--my mother almost never made bread? but she made many other baked goods--and home made cinnamon rolls are part of my childhood memories!)

You children garden and enjoy gardening because you do. Its part of their definition of who they are. (on the other hand, are you teaching them your fear/dislike of math?