Events and Life Mindsets

When kids start treating the staff poorly

Reconcilable Differences #66, titled “Inherent Injustice”, is both hilarious and cringeworthy for parents. The hosts, Merlin Mann and John Siracusa, were talking about raising young kids, setting examples for them, and issuing parental edicts.

I started giggling at around 31 minutes when they were discussing how kids seem to struggle with this idea that their parents are not servants who exist to cater for their every whim. I had to share this:

I had another laugh at about 1:01:30 when Mann and Siracusa started talking about resolving inconsistencies in rules that parents make for kids. I definitely have a preference for Siracusa’s approach. As with terrorists, there are times when you just don’t negotiate with kids about rules.

This was probably one of the funniest discussions I’ve heard for a while on this show. Even if you don’t listen to the show (and it can be an acquired taste), definitely spend a few minutes listening to these discussions.

Devices Events and Life

Parent hack for kids with devices

Like many of you, we have kids with devices. Specifically, an iPad 1 (so VHS!) and an iPhone 4s. Our kids wake up pretty early on weekends used to immediately start playing while we sleep. That part was fine because they let us sleep a little longer.

The challenge was that they’d still be playing by late morning on the weekend without having eaten anything, changed out of their pyjamas or brushed their teeth. Sure there are times when a pyjama day is a perfect way to spend the weekend but we don’t want to raise Zombie Screen Kiddies.

We came up with a pretty effective little parent hack to get them to do all that admin without a weekly fight about it. We introduced a new rule: no devices on weekends before they –

  • eat breakfast
  • brush their teeth (properly)
  • change into day clothes.

The result has been impressive. Both kids are typically fed, teeth brushed and dressed by 7am.

The bonus benefit is that our son has been helping our daughter with her tasks. He gives her breakfast and a 1 minute timer so she brushes her teeth long enough. He even opens blinds in the apartment so they’re exposed to some of that natural light.

They didn’t even argue with us when we introduced the rule. They’re probably still too young to realise when they are being manipulated.

I am really proud of them for embracing this new rule. I’m also really impressed with our ingenuity.