Yes, it really has my friends. I am sure you will agree. Why do people have to get their nickers in such a knot over ridiculous, pathetic little things? Are kids not allowed to be kids and enjoy a good birthday party anymore? Is saying “No, you can’t have any technology to play with – go outside” too much to ask, do we really have to lock iPads in safes? When did parents stop having any sort of authority over their children? And what the hell are Shopkins?
Just a few things we need to discuss today… please!!
You see I listen to all of these podcasts and sometimes I just need to talk them over with someone…. anyone. Some of the things they talk about make me want to eye roll out loud. Seriously.
Firstly – Party Loot Bags. Do we even need to discuss this. Do we really need to waste our breath? No, right? Wrong. Apparently a Mummy blogger in the USA has gone on a big rant saying that Loot Bags should be a thing of the past. WTF. Get out of town. Are kids not allowed to be kids anymore? No wonder they spend so much time on technology, they aren’t even allowed a stupid little lolly bag anymore at a Birthday Party for crying out loud.
Lets all just calm down and take a deep breath. It is just a little bag with stuff in it. I used to love going to Birthday Parties when I was a kid and my favourite part: The Lolly bag you got at the end (because DD would never let us have anything like that). Oh that and the cocktail frankfurts (or Cheerio’s as I now call them because I am basically a Territorian), god I loved those. Is it really that hard to pop a few cheap lollies into a little cheap bag and hand them out?
Party bags in my day (well don’t I just sound so old) just had lollies, no cheap toys. So lets just get back to basics and give the kids their loot bags. Why are we even discussing this? Remember when party bags used to just be those cheap little plastic lolly bags from Woolies filled with mixed lollies? Nothing over the top and we loved it. I can see why Mum’s might be up in arms when this is what we are dealing with now….
Give me strength. This is more for the Mum’s than for the kids. 5 year olds don’t care about fancy little bags, they just want the lollies. They do look good though don’t they and perhaps if I lived in town I would be totally guilty when it came to over doing the lolly bag.
It’s probably easy for me because we don’t really have kids parties but seriously I think I could even manage a lolly bag. Oh and what about those parents who don’t want their kids to eat sweets at a kids party…. ummmm don’t go to the party. Isn’t lollies, cakes and presents what a kids party is all about? I know for sure it was the only time I ever got to let loose and eat crap. It is called BEING A KID! And don’t even get me started on the whole “everyone gets a prize” in pass the parcel.
Ok, now that I have had my little rant about that lets discuss the next issue at hand: locking your kids screens in a safe. I mean – really??? When did parents stop having any sort of authority over their children, when no means no – full stop? Do we really have to lock the screens up so the kids can’t get them. What sort of little monsters are we raising?
Now let me be the first one to admit that I am definitely guilty of throwing my kids some screens to get some peace and quiet but I finally came to my senses at the beginning of the year and said NO MORE!!! After letting them run wild over the Christmas Holidays I took every screen away, deleted a heap of games (god aren’t I just the devil) and said NO MORE.
BOOM – cold turkey. Yep, there were tears my friends, there were tantrums but guess what – THEY GOD OVER IT. Sure it took a few days for them to “come down” from their iPad high, but after a few days in rehab they were all sorted. Yes, there were cold sweats and withdrawal symptoms but I was strong. No means no – we are the adults – remember!!!
And the result: children who are not possessed by the iPad devil! I have even taken it one step further and reduced their TV time. They are no longer allowed to turn the TV on in the mornings or at lunch. They can have it on from 4:30 – 6:30. I didn’t make excuses I just said that was that, no questions and they heard me. We need to take back our authority. Now they actually have to play with each other, go outside, use their imagination….. IMAGINE THAT!!! Tom was fine, he doesn’t watch TV, he is too busy working and Clancy is very happy to play lego but Harry would sit in front of that TV 24/7 if you let him.
And guess what else… now when I ask them to clean their teeth or get ready for school or have a shower for dinner and set the table they just do it because they aren’t glued to the TV saying “Just after this Mum, it is nearly over”.
What should you do on those 13 hour car trips now that they are not allowed technology? Audiobooks (on the iPhone so I guess they still get to touch it but it is just listening). Or how about sitting there looking out the window and maybe, just maybe they will have a sleep if their eyes aren’t glued to a screen. I kid you not my friends. And at home? Well kick them outside or tell them to go and play lego. Remember: it isn’t your job to be the entertainer.
It really is so much easier in the short term to throw them an iPad or turn the TV on but in the long run it is much easier for us to say no. (Don’t get me wrong, I am all for using Sesame Street and Playschool as a little babysitter for the toddlers but I am talking about the older kids here, the ones that need to get ready for school and get stuff done).
I heard all of this (screens locked in safe and loot bag nonsense) on This Glorious Mess – one of my favourite podcasts. Andrew Daddo is just so cool calm and collected and has older children (well 12, 15 & 17). So he has no issues with saying “No”. He makes so much sense and really does make me think about my parenting. We overthink everything. He makes you realise that a simple no means no. He also reminds us that it is not our job to entertain our children and that sometimes boredom is good for them. We need to stop feeling so guilty and just let them be kids. Thanks Andrew for being so wise.
Gosh, haven’t I just had a good old rant. If you have made it this far – well done. What are your thoughts?
Oh and lastly, they were discussing Shopkins on This Glorious Mess the other week… as we all know, I live under a rock but … what the hell are Shopkins??? Gosh I need to get out more.
Disclaimer: my children are by no means perfect, they have tantrums, fight and backchat, but ditching the screens has definitely helped.
Yes to lolly bags?
No to locking screens in safes?
Yes to just saying no means no?