New Tech Policy

I am recovering from Spring Break Barfapalooza 2015 so I’m not going to post anything until next week, but until then, here is our new tech policy for your enjoyment:

OVERVIEW

Too much time is spent on technology. Also, there are too many fights, and the fights are getting really bad.

SOLUTION

A new policy that limits the time spent on technology and prevents fights.

Xbox/WiiU

  • There will be no more playing together.
  • You may play one hour a day by yourself. Use your iPhone, iPod, iPad to track your time.
  • You may pause the stopwatch to eat a meal, go to practice, bathroom, shower, etc.
  • If you have gone to practice, it is OK for someone to jump in and play while you are gone. If you are eating a meal, bathroom, etc., it is not OK.
  • When someone is already playing, you cannot demand that they stop playing so that you can play. Instead, ask them how long they have left.
  • In Minecraft, you have to stay in your own world.
  • Grace has permission to delete dumb worlds. If she isn’t sure whether or not it is dumb, she will leave it.
  • If you don’t want Grace to delete your world, you should name it something other than FJEIRUSLAKDJGKFHGAKSKROEMTK. Try Greg1DND, Gavin1DND, etc. (DND = Do Not Delete)
  • NO MORE SCREAMING. If you scream, the game is over and your hour for the day is up.

LAPTOPS

The time spent on laptops with headphones is getting out of control. You can’t sit in your bed for five or five hours on the Internet. You are going to stunt your brain’s development. One hour a day on your laptop is plenty. Use your iPhone or iPod to track your time. If you are sick, you might be able to spend more time on your laptop but you have to get this approved in advance by me.

BATHROOM & DINNER TABLE

No technology is allowed in the bathroom or at dinner. It is OK at breakfast and lunch.

GENERAL

Start reading more books and going outside more. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I expect you to walk the dog more often, go for a walk around the block, go to the park, get on your bike, go to town with your friends. No more sitting at home on the Xbox and the Internet.

Here is a way for you to track your non-tech time:

Read

Art

Legos/Toys

Play Outside

Walk Dog

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Every Sunday, you can give me your chart for me to sign and if I am happy with it, I will give you some $$$.

CONSEQUENCES

If you are not following the rules and you are spending more than an hour a day on the Xbox and your laptop (for two hours/day total), or if there are fights, or screaming, the Xbox controllers will be taken away again.

Signatures:

Gavin

Greg

Grace

Mom

Dad

Advertisements

The Great Minecraft Fight of 2015. So far.

Screenshot 2015-04-02 at 8.57.33 AM

Like any Mom with multiple children, I watch my children interact on a daily basis and wonder what they are going to be like as adults. Will they be close? Will they nurture the sibling bonds I have tried my best to instill? Will they share holidays and encourage each other through all of life’s challenges?

Sadly, if the last few months of Minecraft on the XBox are any indication, the answer is no.

My kids are not new to Minecraft. They used to play it years ago on the iPad and I almost lost my mind. They played it feverishly for months but then their interest waned and I was never so grateful.

For Christmas, I don’t know what he was thinking, but Santa gave my kids an XBox and threw in a $19.99 Minecraft game at the last minute. Because it’s been so cold and awful here in New Jersey this winter they can’t–and won’t–stop playing. And when they play, they fight. And it’s bad.

Here is how the last fight unfolded:

My youngest, who is six and can’t even make himself a sandwich in real life, finally found a fire aspect book somewhere in the nether and was looking forward to enchanting both a sword and an anvil when his sister went downstairs, joined the game, and caused a catastrophic glitch. The glitch caused him to lose all of his stuff, including his map, and in his fury, he grabbed his virtual sword and started virtually hitting her with it.

She started to virtually lose her health, and began “lightly flicking her wrist” in real life against his chest but according to him it was a sudden and violent slap in the face. In response, he let out a fierce battle cry and began savagely beating her in real life with the XBox controller.

She collapsed in a heap on the floor, which caused my other son to briefly look away from whatever he was doing in his world to glance in her general direction since he was obviously very concerned about her. He returned his full attention to the game, but not before calling out to me for help.

I was trying to ignore the battle since I had just made myself a nice salad but felt guilty after my son called out for me so I went down to the basement, where the XBox is located. Once I got down there, I found my 5-foot 6-inch tall 12-year-old daughter curled up in a ball convulsing and sobbing in pain while my 40 lb three-foot-tall six-year-old son stood above her with flames coming out of his ears.

She is usually very dramatic and he is usually very angry so there was a chance that all of this was just business as usual, but I had to assume the worst. I silently grabbed my son (also known as “The Spawn of Satan”), and led him into his bedroom for a time out while my daughter (also known as Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind) retreated to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. I returned to the basement, gathered up the controllers, and hid them in a secret place for an undetermined length of time.

And that is when I FINALLY enjoyed my salad.