Đạo uses his blog to vent his frustrations. I appreciate and encourage that since I can’t get much out of him when we talk face to face.
Recently I wanted to implement time-limit programs on their devices, especially Đạo’s and Đán’s. I don’t want to control what they do, but I want them to manage their time. Without time limitations, they don’t stop. Even when his mom and I asked them to turn off and go to bed, they still linger on after many hours of usage.
They have 24 hours a day. At least 8 hours are reserved for sleeping. The rest of the hours need to be balanced out with off-screen activities, and not just phone and PC. They need to be able to switch their minds off.
When we went to Stowe for a week, Đán wanted to go home on the first day as we took the first chair lift to the top of the mountain. He hadn’t even started to snowboard yet. We paid all this money and drove almost 12 hours so we could have a nice ski trip together. Yet all he could think about was spending time on his PC? That just made me want to take away their devices for good.
Đạo goes everywhere with his phone and spends hours on it, even when he uses the bathroom. He used to read voraciously. Now I hardly see him hold a book. It breaks my heart. He used to be socialized. He could talk to anyone. Last week, I took him and Đán to a seafood buffet with my friends and their kids. All they did was glued to their phones even though I asked them to put them away and talked.
As for Đạo’s grades, my wife has to constantly check his work, remind him to do his assignments, and retake his tests. If he is allowed to retake his tests, he should not get anything below a B. In fact, he should be able to get all A’s. The issue is that he isn’t being on top of his school work. They aren’t his priority. Digital screens take over his academics.
We had a discussion on time limitation and they both strongly opposed it. I made them a deal. I won’t put on a time limitation. I won’t ask them to turn off their devices. I asked my wife not to remind them about their assignments unless they come and ask for help. I want to give them an opportunity to prove themselves that they can manage their time. If the next quarter report comes in, Ðạo gets below a 3.5 GPA and Đán gets more than five 2’s, their devices will be gone for the entire quarter. Freedom comes with responsibility.