As it's still the school holidays, this hasn't been too much of a problem because I know he can sleep in the next morning, and during the day I can monitor how much time he spends on his computer. But school starts back soon and I knew I'd have to get this addiction under control by then. So, one night I lay awake in bed worrying (as I'm prone to do) about how I could make sure he turned his computer off at night. I don't have anything against him chatting to his friends on facebook - but until two in the morning? I don't think so.
Then (as can often happen at night, along with all the worrying about what a bad mother I am) I had a stroke of genius. The wireless router is in our bedroom! All I had to do was SWITCH IT OFF AT THE WALL! Incredible! With one flick of the switch: no internet! (Don't worry, I can't believe how it took me so long to come up with that one either!)
So, the next evening after dinner I broke it to my teenage sons. Sons, I told them, every night starting that very evening I was going to switch the wireless off at the wall at 10pm. And, just because I was feeling cocky, I threw in another challenge: not only that, but I had decided that we were going to have wireless-free Sundays. Every Saturday night at 10pm, the wireless connection would be switched off at the wall and only come on again on Monday mornings. For one whole day a week, none of us would be able to lose hours of time and precious brain cells on youtube watching cats do stupid things. We would be liberated!
I looked at my sons expecting them to dissolve into hysterics or smash something against the wall but they just shrugged. I was astounded. Hmm... perhaps they thought I was bluffing? After all my 17 year old son told ME off for checking facebook messages on my iphone at the table the other day! I know. It was a new low.
Perhaps they think I will suffer more them? After all, the new rule was going to test out my resolve as much as theirs. But somehow I sensed my sons were almost relieved. My eldest has already admitted he hates how much time he spends on the computer, but since his grandmother brought him his own laptop two years ago it sits in his room like a magnet, tempting him, luring him in to facebook-youtube-blog-land (as it does to me!) Now, on Sundays, our laptops will become just a lifeless piece of junk and our lives can open up to: conversations! walks in the park! board games! I am half thrilled at the prospect, half terrified.
This Sunday will be our first. I'll keep you posted. Who knows? If it's a success, I might even push for wireless-free weekends.
Now THAT'S revolutionary!