It’s been so marvelous having my 20 year old son home from his mission. This is mama paycheck time for me. He and his 17 year old brother just bring me so much joy! Two weekends ago they drove to Utah for a weekend trip to see old friends and participate in two activities. I felt so bummed while they were gone. The house felt empty, even though five of use were still here. I also felt left out, that I couldn’t be at the Holiday Ball they attended, a popular event that happens every year around New Year’s amongst our homeschool crowd in Utah. I was so happy to have them back but know that soon they will both be gone to college. The older one is doing BYUI online but will move out in the spring to attend college in person. The younger one will go to college in the fall.
In the past few weeks, they have spontaneously expressed lots of thanks to me for limiting their screen time when they were kids, including cell phone use. They’ve recognized how so much media out there is either brain candy, or worse, brain poison in the form of porn. It’s almost too good to be true, but yes, they’ve thanked me for not letting them watch whatever movies and TV shows come out. We have some rules for screen use that a few people have criticized me for, saying they are dumb and too strict. I let up on one of the rules with one of my sons once, problems happened, so we’ve reformed and have the rule back in place.
Just when I was starting to cave in and decide to let the 14 year old have a phone, because the last of his friends, a fellow homeschooler, at church got a phone, my friend Olivia shared the above video with me. It reinforces why I don’t want teens to have phones. My boys are also glad I didn’t let them play unlimited video games. Here’s a great video about that, below, by Maurice Harker. I love that he correlates the feelings simulated by video games to the three “P roles” of the male/father in the Proclamation on the Family. So I’ve been pondering on what real life experiences prepare young men for these 3 Ps. I invite you to ponder that too. Sports/athletics definitely, yard/farming/housework, scholar work, and small business ownership as well. I’m pondering what else. Limiting screen use creates a vacuum so kids are much more likely to do those things.