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Accidental Parenting
Accidental Parenting

Episode · 10 months ago

S02E12: The Beginning of 2021

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Col and Aubrey discuss how to transition kids from the chaos of winter break back to a schedule. They share ideas about weaning kids off screen time and options for other ways to keep them entertained.

It is two an thirty five in theafternoon and I'm going to say that today was probably one of the mostproductive days that I've had in what three weeks yeah, because our kids arefinally back in school, Happy New Year, everyone and welcome back to anotherepisode of accidental aparencing. It is the beginning of January- and this weekwas pretty big. Our kids went back to school yeah, it was kind of touch andgo there. Last night there was a school board meeting and they were decidingwhether to have kids go back to school at all or go online, so we didn't knowuntil midnight last night whether they would go to school today. It is ahybrid option, so they're in to dacing a couple days of Lo days or a coupledays from home yeah, but it's nice. It gives us the time to focus on work andget some things done. Like recording a podcast yeah, I wore a button up shirtfor the first time. Actually, no that's wrong. We went out on New Year's Day.We went to get Oysters N, O war, but not sure, but prior to that andignoring that, I don't think I've borne a button up shirt and about three weeks.You were it today for what an hour I'm not wearing itbout up shirt. Now I woreone because I had a meeting that the camera didn't get turned on, so Ididn't need to wear it, but you never nothing yeah! You never know you neverknow so, with the kids being at school. We thought this would be a goodopportunity to record an episode and talk about that transition in gettingkids back into the swing of things out of vacation mode for the holiday selaseof winter break, and they definitely slide into habits that you got a breakonce I have school and more green time all the time and being overtired andstaying on late, yeah way too late, sleeping in way too late. So we'regoing to talk about how to address all of those issues on today's episode,yeah, it is going to be fun. I feel like this is the first winter break,where we kind of let our kids stay up as late as they wanted most nights.Usually we regulate it more strictly. The older kids yeah so the fourteenyear old, twelve yearold yeah, the twins went to bed had a better a littlebit more of a normal hour, but our older kids were giving them a littlemoreleeway but good for them. They went to bed on time. Last night got up, wentto school, no issues. Today, yeah we still didn't get the twins ready earlyenough to red, their bikes had to drop them ell and it was really cold. Iwasn't planning I'm writing biks with that. Yes, it's a little chilly surefor that. Some kids are still writing bikes. What was it this morning, sixtyer so cold? I was wearing a Beeni on a calle other. I is yesterday, I'mwearing a Beeni and someos like Coh you're wearing a Beeni. Is it reallycold there? I'm like yeah, it's like fifty five, like Oh yeah, real col,exactly yeah, so I wonder how the kids are doing inschool today. I feel bad for all those teachers who have to deal with kids onthe first day back from big vacation like this, because it's hard enough forme to get back into the swing of things yesterday. If you are tuned intoanything business at all, you will know that yesterday, on the what the fourthof January, maybe not yesterday when...

...this gets published, but slack, whichis a big communication tool that many organizations use, had a huge outage.So the first half of my yesterday, first half of my day Monday morning, Icouldn't communicate with anyone, so it was actually a nice transition backinto into the work week. It's also a day returning back from holidays, it'sa day that I'm sure it teams love, because it's the day that everyoneforgets their passwords because they haven't logged into their computers. Sol have you forgotten your password when you've come back to work from a break,I don't remember ever doing that, but I for sure have yeah. I know I know for afact. I have at least once at one company I was working for, and I had tocontact it to to reset my password, because I legit could not remember whatit was funny could not believeablon could not believe able. So, let's talk about getting kids backinto the swing of things in particular screen time yeah so will especially ouryoungest six year old, William, he loves screentack. He would be onscreentime all day every day, every minute. If we would let him Georgiawho's the same age. No like Max thirty minutes and she's done. She wants to dosomething active. She wants to go play, but will spent a lot of time onscreenover Christmas break and he's really sneaky about how he does it. Hisscreen of choice is the Nintendo switch and we have very strict rules on screenat our house, whether it's a phone or an IPAD or a TV or even the switch. Weuse parental controls in parental settings. I think we've talked about aprevious episode, how we have timers on our Wifi, so our Wifi shuts off everyday, six o'clock, so they can't get on just for certain devices and we useparental controls for the switch, but will knows how to get around those. Heknows that if he's playing this switch and it's unlocked, he can go intoyoutube open up a video on youtube press play, hit pawse and the switchstays awake. It doesn't ever go to sleep, so he doesn't have to enter theparental controls again yeah the kids were like. How is he, how is it notgoing to sleep, and we realize that's how he had figured it out that he'she's an evil genius, really yeah, it's pretty interesting, so he may be,I think, he's fine at school because he is fine to not be on screen if thereare other things to do. If he's interested engaged in other things, butthe problem is, if there's not really anything else to do, there aren'treally kids his age close by to play with other than gg. So if he's likehowhere noone to play with that would be his you know, his activity of choice is sow on screen.We have to really encourage him to do something else, so for any of thoseparents who are going through something similar, kids coming back from breakthey've been on maybe too much screen time how to get them back into theswing of things. I found a couple of good articles, a particular websitecalled screen, free parentingcom and on...

...screen free parentingcom. They talkabout no screen zones, so four areas, inparticular of when you can cut out screen time that helps the transitionaway from a screentime reliant child number one before school, so they wakeup in the morning. They need to get ready for school eat a good breakfast.They shouldn't be on screen time before school. Yeah. That's pretty easy for us,because if I let them have screem when they first wake up, it's a pain to getthem off it and weird. We don't have usually any more a lot of time in themorning like get up, get ready, go because we like to sleep in as late aspossible, which is not late, but I mean if they have to be at school at eightHak. You don't have a lot of time. Yeah zone number two is t could be on the way to school or anytime someone is in a car no screen time in a car. I thought this is a reallygood one too. We've never and intentionally. We've never purchased avehicle with a DVD player or screens in it, which means anytime, grandma comesover or they get to ride in the neighbor's car that has the screen.They're super pumps and super excited to watch a movie in show car is whatthey call it show car yeah, but outside of that right, ipods, ipads. We do iton road trips, yeah, Whn, they're, going to ben the car for a long time,I'm ot Kar with having a little screen, but just like running around the city.I've never felt the need to have them have screen yeah yeah. So that's a goodone s anci am Kar, because I know a lot of people do that. A lot of people likefrom two blocks, they' they're. Turning on a show in the car, so you're goingto make me looking behind SOM. I'm just wondering like. Let me see if I canfind it here. I could guess like that's when you chat with your kids likeyou're, asking about the day, if you immediately turn on a show, there's alot less time to talk to them. Yeah and that's that'sthe whole idea right. So let me find I'm here right now before school. This one talks about how schools justmake it I mean screentime before school, just makes it harder. As a parent in the car, I went out of a order. I reorderedthese, so I'm Hu, dare you forming family habits when they'reyoung and where, in the cars you're exactly right, it's a good opportunityto talk to kids in the car find out how school was connecting with them, andyou know, as parents we shouldn't be using our phones in the car at leastthose who are driving in Arizona anyway. It is now againstthe law to be using a phone texting and driving talking on the phone anddriving asse and free so ta. I we shouldn't be using the phone in the car.Maybe neither should the kids, let's Ust, feel like the time in the car isthe best time to introduce kids to music right l play name that tune. Weplay lots of different songs that we love. I feel like we kind of won inparenting the other day when our kids came home and intentionally on ourAlexi speakers decided to play Thebeatles a he eos, the beetle nowyeah wewere playing Beatles name that tune on the way home from the cabin andaddy was like. I love the Beatles Yeah...

Y, so now they played the Beatles allthe time. Hoit' amazing, all right, so we talkd about before school. We talkedabout in the car the next time and the reason for the next one is similar toin the car dinner time. MMM Yeah. This is a good one. Right C. Roponent ofthat yeah yeah sit sit around the table. Sit around the couenter sit whereveryou are stanin together, doesn't matter but get rid of the distractions forceeach other to talk yeah on the the social dilemma and of you haven't seenthat there's a scene where the parents are like. Okay, let's put everybody'sphones in this little lock box. Just while we eat dinner, and then you canhave your phones back after dinner and the like twelve year old, like couldn't,do it, he took a hammer and like smashed the box yeah, because that'syeah, you get get addicted to it, yeah and that's definitely one time where hayou you do want to be able to have conversations with your kids and havethat be a good family bonding time to sit around a meal. So we've never hadphones at the table for like Watche, because a lot of people will also eat ameal whill watching television, we've never done yea. We've never done that,yeah, the fourth no screen zone before bed in the bedroom. So well, that's two different things Ifeel like because for the twins, even though we would never allow a screen intheir rooms like there needs to be a good window, Ifeel like before they go to bed of no screen anywhere right or it just theyrelike lethargic. I know there are studies that the blue light it makes itharder to sleep, and so that's what I've read is that a window of timebefore getting ready for bed and going to bed is really healthy. Especiall N,this about for everyone yeah this article suggestno screens within onehour e of bed reserve that time for bathtime reading time, just relaxingand- and you know winding down before bed when you think about screens andadults, I've actually seen recommendations that adults shouldn'thave screens in bed right, it's bad for your eyes.It it wakes you up, O! U Use an old, fashionale arm clock if you have torite, don't use your screen to wake up because you're going to wake up firstthing in the morning you're going to check your email, you're, going tocheck social media and then you're addicted to your screen all day. So R.If you wake up early in the morning, maybe you would have been able to goback to so et. If you check your phone, forget it that light is going to wakeyou up every single time yeah. So those are the no the for no screen zones.Okay, I approve of all of those all right and you can see you can see thereasoning behind it. Kids are our kids at least ther'r zombies, there'szombies after screen, they're irritable, when you take it away, there's like awindow of time where they're super grumpy and I'm always like never shouldhave let you have any screen in the first place. I found that a Fikan Uzyand I need them to be distracted. So I give it to him sure sure, and if I candistract them right, if I can get them building, Legos or playing withmagnatiles or doing something yeah, they can be distracted and they don'tneed it, but once they start on that screen time, it's really hard to getoff right and with our older kids, because you're talking about the sixyear old twins right, they their option is play like go play, but with theolder kids, you know there aren't a lot...

...of like toys they want to play withanymore. So, if they're not hanging out with another friend, they want to be onscreen, and so we've started. Having talks with them like get a hobby like figure out somethingyou San to do, to spend your free time on yeah it shouldn't always be screencould be drawing it could be reading it canegraphy anything music right, nottick, talk, and that I feel like for kids that age theyre they might notnecessarily just do it ourselves kind of our responsibility as parents tointroduce them to everything. We can sign them up for things. Let them trylots of different hobbies because they're not going to just find it ontheir own. They usually don't even know how, where to start and we're trying toget our kids to play games with each other right, so one game that our kidslove to play together battle of the UFOS. If you've never heard of this one,I believe it's I don't know who makes company out ofgae yeah it's a homemad. It's a, I think, thit's a couple lot of Utah orit was like my uncle had made it or something it was homemade. It's justlike a flat wooden board, and then you have all these little wooden tops witha string. So you wind them up and pull them at the same time and it's sort ofa race to see whose top spins the longest, but then a company startedmaking sort of a more professional version of it. The one I had growing upall the tops were different, so you'd fight over the ones that were alwaysfastest. This version, it's good because they're all pretty much thesame yeah until the kids figure out how to wear down the certain tops to makethem last longer battle of the FOS Rexberg, Idaho Battle of the UOS LLC.That's a great game, very fun, Yep, that's a good one, playg with all aestall ages. That's the key right! It is loud, though it is very loud you coan play it inside or outsidethere are in fact there are other outside games that we've been trying toplay with our kids. One really big one that we've been playing with theneighborhood lately is called nine square in the air yeah. This is reallyfun. It kind of works like four square, where you are working up to the kingspot, but there's nine squares- and there are these poles in the air sothat you're playing more like volleyball, where you tip the ball upand outside of your own square yeah. So you try to keep it out of your squareinto someone else's square without going out of bounds like volleyball,hybrid, between volleyball and four square. A lot of fun, yeah, youngerkids that are ten and younger, can catch the ball and throw it so you canplay it with all ages. That's it's hard, sometimes to find things that arereally fun to play with kids and have it be competitive, invent, and thatreally is one that and good time battle of the FOS. I mentioned. There's acompany that makes seme nine square in the air, there's also a company thatmakes them you can google nine square in the air and you can order a set. Wemade ours from material key. I did not help at all with that e. We might, Ithink, my dad and I ordered or made them made it. In fact, I don't evenknow if I cut anything. I got everything I needed from Home Depot andthere was a website that was selling it's like these right, briiant bracketsyeah, the necters tent brackets that connect these poles. So I order thoseonline. I get everything I needed and then I got all the Poles from homedepot a d. They cut them off for me. So...

...there's lots of fun things that you cando with kids, but it's just a little harder like it's more fun with adults.It's the logistics of it is a little harder like we're trying to playpickleball with our kids. It takes so much more coordination. You often willgo to a park and play pickup games with adults and if you're not at a certainlevel, nobody wants to play with you. Yeah, that's really tricky, so you kindof have to find a time to play with your kids, where it's just you guys onthe court. In fact, we went to the park one time and there was a guy who didn'twant to play with his zone. Kids Yeah. This was funny there. I was it was meand another person and we were like. Oh, we need to and a guy came and he's like.Oh these two want to play and they were like. I don't know ten twelve year old,kids, I'm like go, that's final play th over and was like you're going to playto the dad and he's like no, no, no I'll be playing over. He like. No,those are my kids. I just know they want to play. I don't want to. I wedon't want to play with them, but you can some other games that wee played withour kids badminton right. We set that up in our backyard last year. Wel Needto do that pretty soon. As soon as our grass isn't money, it's soccer willplay soccer. Parents and kids out in the PAALL. kickball is so fun yeah.There are lots of fun. Sports O play kids, it's just a matter of being willing to like see it as funactivity for the kids. You know it's not going to be the the level ofcompetitiveness as if Adoltt the same time, though there are going to beplenty of times that I tell my kids, you got to find something to do. Yougot ta come up with your own game. You can't rely on us. We the whole time aall the time yeah, which we do a lot. We entertain our kids a lot yeah, butthere are so many you know there's so many after school activities. You cansign them up ror. I just signed the kids up for a ton of things. If youlive in this area and we're into were Gilbert parks on wreck has all of theirclasses. Fifty percent off right now, so I sign the kids up for art, classesand dance classes and basketball, it's so cheap, and then it's just a matterof driving them to these things every night and you end up kind of a lot ofdriving kids to activities. So one more thing I want to talk about in thisepisode is getting kids up and ready for school. We've recently discoveredthis. This is old technology, but the Amazon Alexa has an anounc feature, soyou can say Alexa announce, and then you share your message and she's goingto repeat it to all other Elexi devices in your house, which is amazing,because we've got a million elex devices in my house. I can be lying inbed. I can see what time it is and I can tell her to announce, hey everyonetime to get up for school and she will repeat: Hey everyone time to get up forschool, and it's pretty amazing. It's really funny how the kids figured itout faster than we did. You were like a Cuto Randma, trying to figure, I'm likethe old grandma, trying to figure out how to make this work. I'm like Alexaannounce and then she says. What do you want to say, and then I say, Alexaannounce this so she says: Alexa announced this and yeah it's a funny,so it repeats it weird for Col, the kids are like rolling their eyes. YeahGG figured it out fast, yes, Yeh and they announced tuff back to us. It'spretty good. So if you haven't checked out out that feature on Amazon, Ihighly encourage it. Okay, I have a...

...quick game for us to play hold onspeaking of games. So I think we should. We should bank our own board game, yes,definitey, accidental parenting board game and we can use like cards in thesit like in a board game. You move forward or backward, and some of thecards that you draw are like your child stolen item from the stormof back three spaces. You lost your child at the zoo, yeah move back byspace or, like your child, yeah, your child threw away the garbage butdropped it on the ground. Just outside the garbage. Canden left it there stillmove back to spaces. Are there going to be any moving forward? No that's theBeaut of it, so you accident screen at all today move forward to no here's,here's what it is in accidental parenting. You start at the end andwe'll call them kid cards. You draw the cards and you just move backwards thewhole time and the goal is to get from the end end of the game to thebeginning of the game. Okay, Trivia, game for us all right, let's her! SoI'm going to ask you some random trive questions that are related to whatwe've be taking about. Let'll, see how close you can? Okay, what would you say?What is the average amount of time that kids spend on screen every day everyday, I'm going to Su a thing in the US seven and a half hours? How did youknow that exactly you've been looking at the stats for this? No, I did not.It was seven and a half isn't raas seven and a half. THAT'S WEIRD! Thatwas just a guess that felt like cheating, nope. I went. I win that oneone point se me dead: What's next: okay, let's see how many kids out of ten participate inextra curricular activities out of after school. Oh how many kids out often I'm going to say two out of ten, no six out of tin six out of Ti hats, muchhigher than I would have thought very guess, and so it says fifty sevenpercent of children between six and seventeen years old, participating atleast one after school activity, so maybe you're thinking under sex. Thisis talking about Sixto Cet, okay yeah. It was not clarified in the question.Otherwise, you'd have gotten. I yeah first, of course, okay. Now we'retalking a little bit about like children, learning a musical instrumentas Ga Hobby; okay. So how many children in ten are currently playing a musicalinstrument current in what are the ages here? Adoes, nots, O no doesn't say:okay, it does not sus children, children, probably about the same. Howmany out of ten are currently playing a musical instrument? I'm going to sayfour out of ten seven: seven out of ten ell, that's goodit did have the ages of those. What percentage are currentlytaking music lessons? Music lessons, I'm going to Sav ofthose six out of ten fifty percent etally, just a little bitlower five out of Tennin wow yeah. I keep hovering my hand over the bellexpecting to se together I was pretty closealmost coul get a quiet ding forthat, okay, so compared to adults, I can give you the percentage for adults. Seventy four percent of adults haveplayed a musical instrument at some point in their lives. Okay, whatpercentage of children have played a...

...musical instrument at some point intheir life? What percentage of children have played a musical instrument atsome point in their lives? I'm going to say eighty five percent, weird eighty five percent exactly and Igot to ring the bell. That's perfect! That's strange, two of those that yougot spot on Nice kind of creepy, actually andhe. Other questions. Let'ssee proportionial to not playn is man there any here, nope! That's about it! I guess thatasinteresting, all right! Very good well welcome back everyone. Hopefully thekids are in school, some form or another ours are high bred, but whetherit's onside or online, we know that teachers are doing everything they canto educate and it's not the ideal ideal circumstances. So everyone be patient there and thank usto all the teachers all they're doing and it's a lot more work, sometimes tobe able to handle online and in person and with the stress yeah of covid outthere so and ity the stress of covid is real. I forwont him grateful that mykids get to be in a hybrid version of school because I really do feel likehaving them in some days a week. It holds myself another parentsaccountable to get their kids tested to check for symptoms if they were at homedoing online. My Kid got sick, I'd, niver take a Wuin get on not it willkeep. So I feel like it's: creating it's creating some structure, aroundtesting, kids and forcing you know, people to stay in line and if your kids sick stayhome from school and we can start to track it and don't Kn W it's well andjust it's clear that they're not learning enough when it's full onlineand at the same time I fully support teachers wanting to feel protected tothis. It's a tricky situation, so yeah there's really no right answer! Yeah with that. We'll see you next time.

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