Jubilee half term

It’s Jubilee half term and it’s hard to get the teens and tween motivated.

Half term

 

It’s half term again and the weather’s not great so any plans to get people out – or even moving – have so far been met by grunts from the younger wing of the household. The idea of a Jubilee street party fills them with horror. I have resorted to pleading for them to come for a walk on the grounds of my health. “It will make me fitter, which is ultimately in your interests,” I say. No one takes any notice. I did get only son out for a bike ride yesterday, but it started pouring the moment we stepped outside.

So far the Eurovision song contest – entire programme including voting – has been relived several times, and not just the 2022 version. Last night it was the year Portugal won – a bit of an epic one in our household and every child knows the life story of the winner in great detail. If only they applied the same interest to their homework.

Daughter three theoretically should be revising for her mocks after half term, but she seemed to be spending a lot of time yesterday playing Splatoon with her brother. He has developed PhD-level abilities in Minecraft. I need to do some research before I even attempt a conversation with him about it.

He has had a falling out with a friend which is rather complicated and when I tried to talk him through the concept of forgiveness he became fairly animated. Apparently, I don’t understand the nature of the grievance. The friend had trashed some Minecraft project that only son and another friend had been working on, obliterating all trust in him. I think I might be a bit peeved too if I’d spent weeks working on something only for someone to press a button and reduce it to virtual ashes.

hinks school is an instrument of torture designed by adults to keep children down. He remarked in around year three at primary school that the teachers were just there to  ‘watch us work’.

hinks school is an instrument of torture designed by adults to keep children down. He remarked in around year three at primary school that the teachers were just there to  ‘watch us work’.

Only son thinks school is an instrument of torture designed by adults to keep children down. He remarked in around year three at primary school that the teachers were just there to  ‘watch us work’.

The age-old issue is how to get only son off the computer. I’ve seen some worrying reports about kids playing computer games for a long while so I tell him about these. No reaction. I tell him he has to vary what he does – an hour reading a book, an hour drawing or some such, an hour cooking, an hour on the computer. He looks at me with horror at any suggestion of reading a book. I had got him into 10 minutes a day before his school trip, but he has conveniently left his book at school and says he cannot start another one over half term. He has been reading the same book for the last year, it seems. I tell him that if he read it for more than 10 minutes at a time he might get into it more and really enjoy it. He sets a timer for the 10 minutes and if he goes over it, he deducts it from the next day’s 10 minutes. Negotiating over the 10 minutes is more trouble than it’s worth.

I try instead to lead by example. I’m always reading books. The trouble is many of them are for work and he considers that the equivalent of school and refuses point blank to do any more homework than necessary, especially during the holidays. He thinks school is an instrument of torture designed by adults to keep children down. He remarked in around year three at primary school that the teachers were just there to  ‘watch us work’.

I suggested PE with Joe Wickes to get people moving. The only trouble is that I usually find that after the first five minutes everyone else has left and I am the only one sat on the floor doing duck squats or whatever it is.

I have threatened device bans many times, but that would involve me locating all the devices and having a strong room in which to lock them. At the moment I can’t even locate my own phone because everyone else uses it and turns the volume down so I can’t hear the ringer.

I need to, as the saying goes, ‘take back control’, but it’s three against one – my partner is away – and I’m hardly a great example when it comes to screen time because they can see me on it most of the day working. The answer, as with everything parent-wise, is clearly to clone myself and have a healthy, energetic version of myself being a great role model for outdoor pursuits while the other more stressed version continues to do all the work and general admin stuff 24/7.

 



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