I have mentioned before that my kids watch t.v. And they play (or do schoolwork) on the computer. And we have a wii. My kids also have bikes, a trampoline, great imaginations and love to read. I don't really have strict rules about their "screen time", although if I think it's been excessive on any particular day, I will tell them to shut off all the screens and go do something else.
I say all that to say I'm pretty laid back about it. Actually, I tend to be pretty laid back about most things, which is partly my personality and partly my parenting creed. :)
Let me 'splain.
I have noticed, over the years, whether it's in my own life, my kids or other people; that the moment we make a big deal out of something, it becomes a big deal. I know, profound. But rules with no wiggle room, with no context, I think they're not good. I think they push whoever is governed by them to try to find a way OUT. It's just human nature. So, I tend to ask myself when thinking about parenting or really anything in my life - "why is this rule here?" If there's no good reason, I get rid of it. Here's a good example.
Carter started going to school in the first grade (he was homeschooled for Kindergarten) and he had fallen into a routine of watching a cartoon in the morning before we homeschooled. Then, when he started going to school for some reason, I put in place the "no t.v. in the mornings before school" rule. Why? Because that was my rule as a kid - probably because my Dad was usually still sleeping in the room right next to the t.v. - no real forethought on my part, just bam, no more t.v. in the mornings for you. Suddenly, I'm struggling to get him ready for school, he's hard to wake up, and then he sits and stares at the dining room wall while he eats his breakfast and I rush around helping the other kids get ready. One day it hit me that I was doing it - imposing a rule with no real purpose. Why should he stare at the wallpaper when he could watch Spongebob while he ate his cereal? No reason. At all. So, I changed the rule and bam - easiest kid in the world to get ready for school.
It all goes back to relationship in my mind. My goal in this parenting thing is to raise kids who know how to make smart choices, who know how to THINK for themselves. I don't think I do that effectively when I just say, "Do this because."
I think that more than a "sage on the stage" I should be a "guide by their side."
How about you?