Summer Screen Break

A week before the kids’ summer started, my wife announced that the boys needed to take a break from their screen for the summer. Even though I supported her decision all the way, she had absolute power in this house. My soul had crushed whenever I turned around and they would be sitting in front of their screens. When I asked Đạo and Đán to go to the skatepark, they acted like I asked them to commit a crime even though I would reward them afterward with boba tea. Even Xuân and Vương would rather sit in front of their iPads than run around the playground. I tried banning them from their screens, but my words had no power. My wife’s words, on the other hand, were rules the kids had to follow.

As soon as the summer began, we took a vacation in Wildwood. With the beach, boardwalk, arcades, and other activities, they were fine without their device. After the vacation, the addiction kicked in. Đán, in particular, had been miserable. He couldn’t function without having access to his computer. He couldn’t do anything during the day and couldn’t sleep during the night. He started thinking of ways to gain back his screen access. He started to write down his plans on his blog using my laptop. His “Remmus” (Summer backward) series is hilarious. He is allowed to write whatever is on his mind—even about his parents.

Without video games, he is bored out of his mind; therefore, he is picking up writing. The more he practices, the better he gets. He managed to get decent ratings in fourth grade, but he could use some help. In July, he and Xuân will start the Summer Olympians Aspire and Reach (SOAR) program. I am so glad that they were invited to take summer school. They definitely need all the help they can get. I hope they will have better focus on improving their math and language skills since they don’t have any distraction from their screens.

Bonjour Vietnam