Friday, July 13, 2012
That list makes for a lot of ways to sit in front of a screen. Every summer I dread the inevitible demands and every summer, at some point during the late afternoon heat, I cave. Once I cave the ensuing peace and amount of work I accomplish allows hours to slip by undetected.
The need for change to the current system presented itself this spring when Child #2 announced his life ambition. "When I grow up I'm going to," he said at dinner and paused.
"Yes!" my husband and I said, eager to hear the incredible future Child #2 envisioned for himself.
Nothing spells out intervention like an announcement that your son's life goal is to work at a convenience store and play video games in the basement. Not long after that I hatched the Poker Chip plan.
The Poker Chip plan is my attempt to achieve some kind of happy medium in our screen crazy world.
On Sunday night each kid gets seven poker chips. Each poker chip is worth one hour of screen time. How and when they spend their poker chips is up to them.
They can go big, like Child #2 did the first week, and indulge in five solid hours of screen time. They can save them up for a movie or they can cash in one a day for a little five o'clock down time. The only catch is the poker chips are use or lose, a necessity given Child #1's hoarding tendencies (but that's another blog post).
During the first week of the poker chip plan my husband was worried. "Child #2 is going to drive you crazy," he said after the five hour technology orgy. But he didn't. Even though his splurge meant he had to go four whole days *the horror* without staring at any kind of screen he accepted his fate as part of the deal.
The Poker Chip plan has also proved to be an excellent outlet for Child #1's junior lawyer skills.
She views the "use it or lose it" aspect as taxation without representation and has submitted numerous oral arguments in support of her position.
There's only one person who sits on the bench of the Garth Family Supreme Court and, unluckily for Child #1, that person also wrote the legislation. Her motions and appeals have been dismissed and denied. If you happen to know her, do me a solid and keep her in the dark about conflict of interest provisions.
As for the overall success of the plan, so far this summer has seen a higher hit rate of lounging around reading books and playing outside. Technically, poker chips are for gambling but I'm pretty sure this jack pot of an idea is better than anything I would have won at a casino.