Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: Possessed

I don't believe in reincarnation or witchcraft or the supernatural.  Years ago I would have added "being possessed" to that list.  My views have changed.  I believe my 8-year-old is possessed - by a teenager.  Okay - not really - but something is going on.  8-year-olds are supposed to be all sweetness and light.  Sugar and Spice.  Cute little dresses and pigtails.  Barbies and dolls and puppies and all things good.

My 8-year-old is more like grunge and rock-n-roll and Ugg boots and Butter sweatshirts and screaming matches in the morning over hair and clothes. She takes her 12-year-old sisters clothes and tries to wear them.  She even tries to sneak lip gloss off to school.  Who are you and what have you done with my baby?  It's not just my daughter.  It's a lot of the girls in third grade.  A friend told me her 8-year-old wakes up early to shower and blow-dry and straighten her hair.  It's true that girls mature faster than boys.  But I have lived through 8 already with a boy and a girl and never were there screaming matches in my house like this before.  I am arguing with an 8-year-old over things that shouldn't even be up for discussion.  I am going to take the blame for some of it.  I am strict - but apparently not strict enough.  I try to monitor the TV viewing and computers but sometimes things slip by. 

My daughter wants to be ICarly or London Tipton or some girl from Camp Rock - these are her role models.  I wanted to be Laura or Mary Ingalls - those were my role models.  No similarities at all between what she watches on TV now and what I watched as a kid.  TV, music videos, Internet access, music and tween magazines definitely have a grip on our kids like never before. I take full responsibility for exposing her to these things - we live in a different era. Kids need to be tech savvy but there has to be a limit. 

I know a family who only allows TV on the weekends.  I think there would be a revolt in my house if I went that far.  But today starts an experiment in TV and computer usage.  2 hours per day of screen time for all of us, including me.  We need to downsize our reliance on technology.  We need to rely less on the TV and computer for entertainment and more on books and games and family time. I don't know how long it will be before I cave and give in to more screen time or how many fights I will have to go through in my house - but I am going to try my best to stick to my guns and make this work.  I hope it will teach us all something about ourselves and our family.  To rely less on material things and more on each other.  Wish me luck!

Cara's two cents: Lu will never be Mary Ingalls...(ew)settle for somewhere between Mary and iCarly! :) 


Anonymous said...

Good luck! Am I ever on your side. I've always been for a limit on computer and TV time. Enough already! I just read an article about a few brave cafes who have banned laptops and cell phones. Wow, only human interaction is left!! I ban cell phones on the dinner table..."one small step for man", etc. Hang tough; it will be an uphill battle, but all will benefit in the long run.

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