Accidental Parenting
Accidental Parenting

Episode · 1 year ago

S02E12: The Beginning of 2021


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 to thirty five in the afternoon and I'm going to say that today was probably one of the most productive days that I've had in what three weeks? Yeah, because our kids are finally back in school. Happy New Year everyone, and welcome back to another episode of accidental parenting. It is the beginning of January and this week it was pretty big. Our kids went back to school. Yeah, it's kind of touch and go there. Last night there was a school board meeting and they were deciding whether to have kids go back to school at all or go online. So we didn't know until midnight last night whether they would go to school today. It is a hybrid option. So they're into days ago, a couple days of little days a week, couple days from home, but it's nice. It gives us the time to focus on work and get some things done, like recording a podcast. Yeah, I wore a button up shirt for the first time. Actually, no, that's wrong. I we went out on New Year's Day. We went to get oysters and I were butt, I'm sure, but prior to that and ignoring that, I don't think I've worn a button up shirt and about three weeks. You were today for what an hour. I'm not wearing a button shirt now. I wore one because I had a meeting that the camera didn't get turned on, so I didn't need to wear it. But you never nothing. Yeah, you never know. You never know. So with the kids being at school, we thought this would be a good opportunity to record an episode and talk about that transition in getting kids back into the swing of things, out of vacation mode. Yeah, for the holiday season, winter break, and they definitely slide into habits that they got a break once. I have school and I'm where green time all the time and being over tired and staying up late. Yeah, way too late, sleeping in way too late. So we're going to talk about how to address all of those issues on today's episode. Yeah, it's 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 fourteen year old, twelve war old. Yeah, the twins went to bed at a better and a little bit more of a normal hour, but our older kids were giving them a little more leeway. But good for them. They went to bed on time last night, got up, went to school. No issues today. Yeah, we still didn't get the twins ready early enough to ride their bikes. Had to drop them well, and it was really cold. I wasn't planning on writing bikes with them because it's a little chilly. Sure for that some kids are still writing bikes. What was it this morning? Sixty her so cold. I was wearing a beanie on a call. The others is yesterday I'm wearing a beanie and someone's like, Oh, you wearing a beanie. Is a really cold there? And like yeah, it's like fifty five. Like Oh, yeah, real cold, exactly. Yeah, so I wonder how the kids are doing in school today. I feel bad for all those teachers who have to do with kids on the first day back from big vacation in like this, because it's hard enough for me to get back into the swing of things. And yesterday, if you are tuned into anything business at all, you will know that yesterday, on the the what the Fourth of ...

January? Maybe not yesterday when this gets published, but slack, which is 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, I couldn't communicate with anyone, so it was actually a nice transition back into into the work week. It's also a day returning back from holidays. It's a day that I'm sure it teams love because it's the day that everyone forgets their passwords because they haven't logged into their computers so long. 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 a fact I have at least once at one company I was working for, and I had to contact it to to reset my password because I legit could not remember what it was. Funny. Could not believable. Could not believable. So let's talk about getting kids back into the swing of things, in particular screen time. Yeah, so will, especially our youngest six year old, William. He loves screen time. He would be on screen time all day, every day, every minute, if we would let him. Georgia, who's the same age, no, like Max thirty minutes and she's done. She wants to do something active, she wants to go play, but will spend a lot of time on screen over Christmas break and he's really sneaky about how he does it. His screen of choice is the Nintendo switch and we have very strict rules on screen at our house, whether it's a phone or an IPAD or a TV or even the switch. We use parental controls and parental settings. I think we've talked about in a previous episode how we have timers on our Wi fi. Saw Our WIFI shuts off every day six o'clock so they can't get on just for certain devices, and we use parental controls for the switch, but will knows how to get around those. He knows that if he's playing this which and it's unlocked, he can go into youtube, open up a video on youtube, press play, hit pause and the switch stays awake. It doesn't ever go to sleep, so he doesn't have to enter the parental controls again. Yes, the kids were like, how is he? How is it not going to sleep, and we realize that that's how he had figured it out, that he's he's an evil genius really. Yeah, it's pretty interesting. So he maybe. I think he's fine at school because he is fine to not be on screen if there are other things to do if he's interested engaged in other things. But the problem is if there's not really anything else to do, there aren't really kids his age close by to play with other than Gig so if he's like Oh, there's going to play with that would be his you know, his activity of choice is show on screen. We have to really encourage him to do something else. So for any of those parents who are going through something similar, kids coming back from break, they've been on maybe too much screen time. How to get them back into the swing of things? I found a couple of good articles. Are Particular website called screen free parentingcom...

...and on screen free Parentingcom they talk about no screen zones. So four areas in particular of when you can cut out screen time. That helps to transition away from a screen time rely and child number one before school. So they wake up 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 screen when they first wake up, it's a pain to get them off it. And Weird we don't have usually any more a lot of time in the morning like get up, get ready go because we like to sleep in as late as possible, which is not late, but I mean if they have to be at school at Eight, that you don't have a lot of time. Yeah. Zone number two is it could be on the way to school or anytime someone's in a car. No screen time in a cart that this is a really good one too. We've never, and intentionally we've never purchased a vehicle with a DVD player or screens in it, which means any time grandma comes over or they get to ride in the neighbor's car that has the screen, they're super pumped and super excited to watch a movie in show car. Is What they call it, show car. Yeah, but outside D of that, right, I pods, ipads. We do it on road trips. Yeah, when they're going to be in the car for a long time, I'm not care 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 good oneas and cry. I am here because I know a lot of people do that. A lot of people, like from two blocks they'll they're turning on a show in the car. So you're going to make me look at behind that. I'm just wondering, like, let me see if I can find it here. I could guess, like that's when you chat with your kids, like you're asking about the day. If you immediately turn on a show, there's a lot less time to talk to them. Yeah, and that's that's the whole idea, right. So let me find I'm here right now, before school. This one talks about how schools just make it, I mean, screen time before school just makes it harder as a parent in the car. I went out of order. I re ordered these, so I'm I'm how dare you forming family habits when they're young and where in the cards? You're exactly right. It's a good opportunity to talk to kids in the car find out how school was connecting with them. And you know, as parents, we shouldn't be using our phones in the car, at least those who are driving. In Arizona Anyway, it is now against the law to be using a phone, texting and driving, talking on the phone and driving, ask stands free, and so not at all. We shouldn't be using the phone in the car. Maybe neither should the kids. Let's go back to feel like the time in the car is the best time to introduce kids to music, right. It will play, name that tune. We play lots of different songs that we love. I feel like we kind of one in parenting the other day when our kids came home and intentionally, on our Alexa speakers, decided to play the Beatles, the beetles, the Beatles. Yeah, we were playing beetles, name that tune on the way home from the cabin and addy was like, I love the Beatles.

Yeah, yes, so now they play the Beatles all the times. That's amazing. All right. So we talked about before school, we talked about in the car the next time, and the reason for the next one is similar to in the car. Dinner Time. HMM, yeah, this is a good one, right. Proponent of that. Yeah, sit, sit around the table, sit around the counter, sit wherever you are, stand together, doesn't matter, but get rid of the distractions. Force each other to talk. Yeah, on the social dilemma of Andy. Of You haven't seen that, there's a scene where the parents are like, okay, let's put everybody's phones in this little lock box just while we eat dinner and then you can have 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's yeah, you get get addicted to it. Yeah, and that's definitely one time where that you you do want to be able to have conversations with your kids and have that be a good family bonding time to sit around a meal. So I we've never had phones at the table for like watched, because a lot of people will also eat a meal whall watching television. We've never done yeah, we've never done that. Yeah. The fourth no screen zone before bed in the bedroom. So well, that's two different things, I feel like, because for the twins, even though we would never allow a screen in their rooms, like there needs to be a good window, I feel like, before they go to bed of no screen anywhere, right, or it just they're like lethargic. I know there are studies that the blue light it makes it harder to sleep, and so that's what I've read, is that a window of time before getting ready for bed and going to bed is really healthy, especially in this but for everyone. Yeah, this article suggest no screens within one hour of bed. Reserve that time for bathtime, reading time, just relaxing and and, you know, winding down before bed. When you think about screens and adults, I've actually seen recommendations that adults shouldn't have screens in bed. Right, it's bad for your eyes, it wakes you up. Use An old fashioned alarm clock if you have to write. Don't use your screen to wake up, because you're going to wake up first thing in the morning, you're going to check your email, you're going to check social media and then you're addicted to your screen all day. So if you wake up early in the morning, maybe you would have been able to go back to stal, but if you check your phone, forget it. That light is going to wake you up every single time. Yeah, so those are the note the for no screen zones. Okay, I approve of all of those all right, and you can see. You can see the reasoning behind it. Kids are our kids at least. There's zombies. There's zombies after screen. They're irritable when you take it away. There's like a window of time where they're super grumpy and I'm always like, never should have let you have any screen in the first place. I found that if I can busy and I need them to be distracted as I give it to him. Sure, sure, and if I can distract them right, if I can get them building legos or playing with magnet tiles or doing something, yeah, they can be distracted and they don't need it, but once they start on that screen time it's really hard to get off right. And with our older kids, because you're talking about this six year old twins, right, they their option is play, like go play.

But with the older kids, you know, there aren't a lot of like toys they want to play with anymore. So if they're not hanging out with another friend, they want to be on screen. And so we've started having talks with them like get a hobby, like figure out something more to do to spend your free time on. Yeah, it shouldn't always be screen. Could be drawing, it could be reading, it could be your fee, anything, music, rights not tick Tock, and that I feel like four kids that age there they might not necessarily just do it ourselves. Kind of our responsibility as parents to introduce them to everything. We can. Sign them up for things, let them try lots of different hobbies, because they're not going to just find it on their own. They usually don't even know how Ye, where to start? And we're trying to get our kids to play games with each other. Right. So one game that our kids love 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 of game. It's a home it's a I think it's a couple lot of Utah or it was like my uncle had made it or something. It was homemade. It's just like a flat wooden board and then you have all these little wooden tops with a string, so you wind them up and pull them at the same time and it's sort of a race to see whose topspins the longest. But then a company started making sort of a more professional version of it. The one I had growing up, all the tops were different, so you'd fight over the ones that were always fastest. This version it's good because they're all pretty much the same. Yeah, until the kids figure out how to wear down the certain tops to make them last longer. Battle of the FOS Rexburg Idaho, Battle of the UFOS LLLC. That's a great game, very fun. Yep, that's a good one. Play with all ages. All Ages. That's the key, right. It is loud, though. It is very loud. You could play it inside or outside. There are, in fact there are other outside games that we've been trying to play with our kids. One really big one that we've been playing with the neighborhood lately is called nine square in the air. Yeah, this is really fun. It kind of works like four square, where you are working up to the king spot, but there's nine squares and there are these poles in the air so that you're playing more like volleyball, where you tip the ball up and outside of your own square. Yeah, so you try to keep it out of your square into someone else's square without going out of bounds like volleyball. Hybrid between volleyball and four square a lot of fun. Yeah, younger kids that are ten and younger can catch the ball and throw it, so you can play it with all ages. That's it's hard sometimes to find things that are really fun to play with kids and have it be competitive. Invent and that really is one that end good time. Battle of the UFOS I mentioned, there's a company that makes them. Nine Square in the air. There's also a company that makes them. You can google nine square in the air and you can order a set. We made ours from materials. I did not help at all with that. We might I think my dad and I ordered or made them, made it. In fact, I don't even know if I cut anything. I got everything I needed from Home Depot and there was a website that was selling it's like these briant brackets, yeah, the electors tent brackets that connect these poles. So I ordered those online. I get everything I needed and then I got all the polls from Home Depot and they cut them off for me. So there's lots of fun things that you can do with..., but it's just a little harder, like it's more fun with adults. It's the logistics of it as a little harder, like we're trying to play pickleball with our kids. MMMM. It takes so much more coordination. You often will go to a park and play pickup games with adults and if you're not at a certain level, nobody wants to play with you. Yeah, that's really tricky. So you kind of have to find a time to play with your kids where it's just you guys on the court. In fact, we went to the park one time and there was a guy who didn't want to play with his own kids. Yeah, this was funny. There I was, it was me and 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 twelveyear old kids. I'm like that's final. Play with over and I was like you're going to play to the dad and he's like no, no, I'll be playing over here. Like know, those are my kids. I just know they want to play. I don't want to. I don't want to play with them, but you can some other games that we played with our kids. Badminton, right, we set that up in our backyard last year. We'll need to do that pretty soon. As soon as our grass isn't money. It's soccer. Will play soccer, parents and kids out in the PABALL. Kick Ball is so fun. Yeah, there are lots of fun sports of play kids. It's just a matter of being willing to like see it as a fun activity for the kids. You know, it's not going to be that the level of competitiveness as if adults. The same time, though, they are going to be plenty of times that I tell my kids, you got to find something to do. You gotta come up with your own game. You can't rely on us. We the whole s aretaing all time. Yeah, which we do a lot. We entertain our kids a lot. Yeah, but there are so many, you know, there's so many after school activities you can sign them up for. I just signed the kids up for a ton of things. If you live in this area and weren't aware, Gilbert Parkson wreck has all of their classes fifty percent off right now. So I signed the kids up for art classes and dance classes and basketball. It's so cheap. And then it's just a matter of driving them to these things every night and you end up kind of a lot of driving kids to activities. So one more thing I want to talk about in this episode is getting kids up and ready for school. We've recently discovered this. This is old technology, but the Amazon Alexa has an announced feature. So you can say Alexa announce and then you share your message and she's going to repeat it to all other Alexa devices in your house, which is amazing, because we've got a million Alexa devices in my house. I can be lying in bed, I can see what time it is and I can tell her to announce, hey everyone, time to get up for school, and she will repeat, Hey, everyone, time to get up for school, and it's pretty amazing. It's really funny how the kids figured it out faster than we did. You were like a cute grandma trying to figure I'm like the old grandma trying to figure out how to make this work. I'm like, Alexa announce, and then she says, what do you want to say? And then I say Alexa announced this. So she says, Alexa announced this. Yeah, the funny so repeats it. Weird for coal. I ther kids are like rolling their eyes. Yeah, gg figured it out faster. Yeah, yeah, and they they announced stuff back to us. It's pretty good. So if you haven't checked out out that feature on Amazon, I highly encourage it. Okay, have a quick game for us to play.

Hold on, speaking of Games, so I think we should we should make our own board game. Yes, definitely, the accidental parenting board game, and we can use like cards in this sit like in a board game, you move forward or backward and some of the cards that you draw are like your child stolen item from the storm of back three spaces. You lost her child at the zoo. Yeah, move back by spaces or like your child? Yeah, your child threw away the garbage but dropped it on the ground just outside the garbage candle. Left it there. Still. Move back to spaces. Are there going to be any moving forward? No, that's the meat it. So you're accidental screen at all today. Move forward to now here's here's what it is in accidental parenting. You start at the end and we'll call them kid cards. You draw the cards and you just move backwards the whole time, and the goal is to get from the end end of the game to the beginning of the game. Okay, Trivia game for us. All right, let's hear you. So I'm going to ask you some random trivit questions that are related to what we've talking about. We will see how close you can. Okay, what would you say? What is the average amount of time that kids spend on screen every day, every day, I'm gonna see anything in the US. Seven and a half hours. How did you know that exactly? You've been looking at the stats for this? No, I did not know that. Seven and a half is it. It's a seven and a half. That's weird. That was just a guess that felt like cheating. Nope, I went I win that one. One point from me dead. What's next? Okay, let's see how many kids out of ten participate in extra curricular activities out of after school? Oh, how many kids out of ten? I'm going to say two out of ten. No, six out of time, six out of touch. That's much higher than I would have thought. Very good. And so it says fifty seven percent of children between six and seventeen years old participant in at least one after school activity. So maybe you're thinking under sex. This is talking about six to seve okay, yeah, it was not clarified in the question. Yeah, otherwise you'd have gotten yeah, for sure, of course. Okay, now we're talking a little bit about like children learning a musical instrument as a hobby. Okay, so how many children in ten are currently playing a musical instrument? Car In? What are the ages here? And does not know. Doesn't say. Okay, it does not say. It's children. Children, probably about the same. How many out of ten are currently playing a musical instrument? I'm going to say four out of ten, seven, seven out of ten. Well, that's good. It did have the ages of those. What percentage are currently taking music lessons. Music lessons, I'm going to say of those, six out of ten, fifty percent, actually just a little bit lower. Five out of ten. Wow, yeah, I keep hovering my hand over the bell expecting myself to get it. Was Pretty close. Must could get us quiet doing for that. Okay. So compared to adults, I can give you the percentage for adults. Seventy four percent of adults have played a musical instrument at some point in their lives. Okay, what percentage of children have played a musical instrument at some point... their lives? What percentage of children have played a musical instrument at some point in their lives? I'M gonna say eighty five percent. Weird, eighty five percent exactly, and I got to ring the bell. That's perfect. That's strange. Two of those that you got spot on. Nice, kind of creepy actually. And the other questions, let's see, proportional to not played as are there any here? NOPE, that's about it. I guess that's interesting. All right, very good. Well, welcome back everyone. Hopefully the kids are in school some form or another, ours or highbread, but whether it's on site or online, we know that teachers are doing everything they can to educate and it's not the ideal, ideal circumstances. So everyone be patient there and thanks to all the teachers all they're doing. It's a lot more work sometimes to be able to handle online and in person and with the stress, yeah, of covid out there. So and it's the stress of covid is real. I, for one, I'm grateful that my kids get to be in a hybrid version of school because I really do feel like having them in some days a week. It holds myself and other parents accountable to get their kids tested, to check for symptoms they were at home doing online. My Kid got sick, I'd never taken with again. Test them that it will keep. So I feel like it's creating it's creating some structure around testing kids and forcing, you know, people to stay in line and if your kids sick, stay home from school and we can start to track it. And it's well and just. It's clear that they're not learning enough when it's full online and at the same time I fully support teachers wanting to feel protected to this is it's a tricky situation. So yeah, there's the really no right answer. Yeah, with that, we'll see you next time.

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