I am a mother of three boys, and I very well know words like “Switch,” “Xbox,” and “Playstation.” My boys have them all, and it did not come from me. Those consoles were gifts from my parents, aunt, and cousin, respectively. But even if the toys did not come from me, I had absolute control of how long and when it is used. The dynamics changed a bit because of this lockdown.
Because there were three game consoles, each of the boys got their favorite. Atom had the Switch. Bram had the Xbox, and Clay had the Playstation. Before this COVID-19 pandemic, all of the consoles were in the game and entertainment area. I was too busy working from home and adjusting to it all that I let it slip. In the first two weeks, the boys brought the consoles with them in their rooms.
I realized that they were playing until the wee hours in the morning when they cannot go down for breakfast at 9 am. It was nine in the morning, and the sun was already high up. My boys were still in their beds, and that made me wonder. And so, I had to set the rules, and they had to follow.
We are the parents, and the kids must follow us. This is what we call discipline. They cannot lounge around at night, playing with their gadgets, and sleeping all day. This is not right. I talked to them, and this was how it went.
Me: I have to take away the gadgets from you guys. I don’t like that you don’t sleep at night and just spend your time playing.
Clay: Mom, there is nothing to do. We are on lockdown, and it is so boring.
Adam: True mom. It is so boring. Clay is right. What else can we do but play? There is no school. And we cannot even go out.
Bram was not talking because he knows what is right. He knows that I will make my point and that no matter what he says, he won’t be able to play their Xbox at night again.
Me: Guys, during school days, what was your schedule in playing?
Clay: Maximum three hours each day, during weekdays.
Adam: And at most, five hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Bram: Back to three hours on Sundays.
Me: Good. We will be doing that rule again.
I heard sighs of disapproval from them, but I did not mind it.
Me: We will have a schedule, you guys. I talked with your teachers, and they are willing to hold a tutorial for each of your classes so that you will have something to do during the day. I will also incorporate a PE time for all of you. One hour. You can do whatever you want outside. Do you want to take up some physical lessons online?
Adam: Hmmm… Can I do Jiu jitus?
Bram: Me too! I want that.
Clay: I will join them.
Me: Good, ok. I will set this up today, and maybe anytime this week, pending your sensei’s schedule, you will start with the classes. How about other lessons? Anything else you want to do?
Adam: Mom, can we use an hour or two for YouTube?
Me: What for?
Bram: Music. How-to videos. Learn-how videos. That kinda stuff.
Me: Hmmm, ok. I will write it down in your schedules.
Clay: What time is our bedtime?
Me: Lights out at ten and down here by 9, all ready for the day.
Clay: We have to take a bath???
Me: Yes, silly. Even with this lockdown stopping everything around us, we should not stop improving and enhancing ourselves.
Adam: Mom, can I take those digital app making courses?
Me: How much?
Adam: I will let you know later.
Bram: I want to take lessons too.
It seems that the boys want to learn, and that is my goal. Even if it costs a bit, I said YES.
And so, I made a schedule for all of us. The boys were not playing their games and consoles for an extended period. They were learning things online. Jiu-jitsu also aided in their practice of self-discipline, and my boys are healthy physically and mentally. I love being a mom.