Unplugging Your Kid
My daughters, Princess and Diva, are typical teenagers. By typical I mean that a cell phone and/or iPod is always attached to them like an extra limb. This fact is relevant to the story. Let me back up for a moment.
Diva got into trouble at school. Trouble that required a phone call from the assistance principal. I hate getting those phone calls. Consequences had to be suffered.
I did what any parent would do. I did the gadget strip. Gone were the cell phone, iPod and school issued tablet. Access to the home computer and phone were restricted. She was on a major timeout.
And she was miserable. Which played into the genius of my plan. Having a gadget junkie for a kid means that the most effective punishment is one that deprives her of her stuff. (Insert Dr. Evil laugh here.)
However, there was one side effect that I didn’t anticipate. Diva got on my last nerve. The kid was utterly lost without the technical means to entertain herself. She was bored.
I suggested reading a book (books are boring) or watching TV (my show isn’t on). I told her to write in a journal (we do that in school) or clean her closet (I already did). My suggestions were shot down in rapid succession. Her solution was to find me no matter where I was in the house and tell me she was bored. Then we had to have the discussion about choices and consequences. She would disappear for a while only to reappear and we would have the same conversation.
I’m losing it, people. But I must remain strong. The punishment must be complete.
(Here she comes again.)
“Hi, Mom,” she says.
I silence a scream. “Hey, Diva. Want to read “The Hunger Games”? I have it on my Nook.”
“No, I don’t like to read. I just want to mess with you.”
I ask you. Who is really be punished here?