Super Parenting and Screen Time
In my darkest moments, I feel the overwhelming presence of Super Parent.
She knows who she is. She’s worked a full day (sometimes more than full let’s face it) then flies home to save spirits in her domestic realm. She’s always at the ready to enrich her children’s minds with after school activities, frolics in clover and a sit down dinner (full of vegetables because Super Parent doesn’t breed picky eaters).
Super Parent always manages to avoid the pleas for more screen time. She is energetic in her resolve because she is of boundless energy, even when she’s used it all up at her day job. Why? because her child is clearly not kryptonite. Besides, who needs screens when you’ve jumped on trampolines, invented drawing exercises and made muffins with your sweet munchkins? She certainly doesn’t! And neither does her kids. They’re so tuckered out they’re asleep by 7 (and by the way, Super Parent always has shiny hair and smooth skin because she can now wash at leisure).
Super Parent, you get the better of me in my hours of need.
And yes, it often does feel like a competition, and I am the sour loser. Who is going to fuck up their children the least? Super Parent beats me every time.
Frankly, by the end of my work day, my resolve is decidedly blurry. I walk in the door with night fully risen and by the look of my house, I’m not clocking off yet. The hours I’ve spent solving problems and serving people at work are trumped by trying to make dinner from an overstuffed fridge and a kitchen still buried in breakfast.
So what enrichment does my child receive?
a good dose of Minecraft that’s what.
There’s nothing I’d like more than to see him busy cavorting in self organised play of the non-screen kind. And that’s exactly what happens if his mood is just right. At those lucky moments, when I don’t have to scramble for every piece of my patience and resolve to resist his pleas for more screen time, I feel exquisite relief and even some freedom of choice. I choose a glass of red over washing my hair, and begin attacking the mess of my double life with some rigour. In that moment, I’m not Super Parent, but I’m not guilty either. Have I won? Not sure, but I’m definitely looking forward to my own dose of Netflix if I don’t fall asleep reading Harry Potter.