We have had sick kids this week and as most of you know, it can wear you out! After having to cancel our date night this weekend, we opted for an easy "non-thinker" of a movie. We picked This is 40.
We thought it would be a funny spoof on our reality. But the reality was...it was not funny at all! The problems were real, and scary, and just plain sad. Instead of "checking my brain at the door", my mind has been reeling with the frightening truths brought to light in this movie.
First major problem...their marriage is a mess. Neither parent is engaged with their two daughters and their dad never fully checks-in. Their fights are awful and hurtful and frequent! They do love each other and that was kind of the central theme. "As long as we love each other, then that is all that matters."
Their daughters are a mess because their marriage is a mess. The older one (13) is completely disrespectful and obsessed with all things bad things related to media. The younger one (8) is still innocent and crying out for help, but no one really listens.
I don't want to go into too much detail on the movie (I don't really recommend renting it either...) but I just had to put in words how it affected me! I was up most of the night after we watched it. My kids are nearly 2 and 4. Far from 13 and 8, but I think that will be here before we know it.
I got up at 4:00 in the morning Saturday to start figuring out the changes I could make so that my 40 does not look like their 40. One major thing we have going for us that they were lacking....
JESUS and TRUTH!
Here is what I came up with:
- Media for the kids is all but going away. 30 minutes a day tops, at our discretion and timing
- Occasional family movie nights that help grow our kids
- Structured learning time about the bible, about truth, at least 3 times a week. I hope to make it fun and age appropriate!
- Parents Media - very limited in front of the kids. I will to work on the computer when they are playing independently in their rooms or napping, before they wake up or after bedtime. Outside of catching their adorableness on Instagram, I don't want to have my phone around them much. For them and for me. I don't want to miss any moments because of this silly iphone!
- Richard will plan a dad only or family fun activity a few nights a week. We it creates some great quality time with the kids and helps avoid the pull to the evening TV watching.
- Most importantly...I want to love my husband well. On the days that it is easy and on the days that I have to choose it. I really want my kids to see it too!
So...now comes the hard part. Without TV and Ipads and iphones, what are we going to do all day?
We are going to read more books, go to the library, pet stores, parks, go on walks, make amazing train tracks, build puzzles, do art, cook together, garden, splash, blow bubbles....endless possibilities!
I am also not super woman and need time to myself, so they will play by themselves or with each other when directed too. I believe it is not any healthier for them to be addicted to my entertaining them anymore than an electronic device. I will fill up their emotional tanks each morning with love, lessons, and playtime and then send them on their way to explore and discover on their own.
Summer is fast approaching and I am arming myself with some new tools to make the best (almost media free) summer ever. I will share some feedback as we embark on this journey!
This IS 32!
thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of my rant...I know I sound extreme, but that is the reaction this movie gave me. I know it won't be perfect, but hopefully it will help change the path for my kids ever so slightly!