Who’s monitoring screen-time now?

I’m probably going to delete this later.

Remember back about a month ago when monitoring screen-time was all the rage? 😶

I don’t know if I should shrug my shoulders, roll my eyes, or cry.

I wrote a post last night about how we’re going to implement a daily, two-hour homeschool routine.

I didn’t publish it and I won’t.

Because it’s futile. My efforts are dismissed and outright rejected.

The kids have heard nothing from their schools, or their teachers, in two weeks. Partly because one week was Spring Break and partly because the teachers’ unions intention was to begin a strike after Spring Break. The teachers are in a labour dispute with the government and I have no idea when, or whether, or if, a resolution has arrived.

I do know the complexities of moving schoolwork online will be mind-boggingly time consuming. My partner is doing it for his college classes so I can see first-hand what the challenges will be.

Which is why the elementary and secondary school teachers are relying on the parents to do their part by homeschooling their kids.

I get it. I am willing.


My kids seem to treat this pandemic as some sort of extended vacation. Despite extensive talks and invitations to participate in coming up with solutions, they think school is boring and they’d rather not do it. (I can’t really argue with them. Both have good grades and no academic issues. But this is not the time to just avoid, or quit, their education. They’re in the middle of the school year which ends at the end of June.)

They are old enough to spearhead their online education with minimal supervision at 12 and a half, and 15. I don’t want to, nor do I need to, give hands-on lessons. But I can, if they want me to. I’m more than happy to come up with a variety of exercises we can do as a family. Including cooking and baking and gardening (which is science, math and biology).

I directed them to some provincial modules the Ministry of Education released, but they don’t want to do them.

There are some other online sites giving them access to practicing aspects of some subjects, like math and science, as well as French (they are in immersion), at least to stay in it, but they don’t want to.

There are some fun activities and inspirational ideas coming out of the internet (and my own head) they could use to inspire themselves as a form of mental stimulation away from screens…

But they don’t want to.


Having said that, there is a silver lining. While one kid is relatively self-sufficient and partially interested in a loosely defined homeschooling routine, the other one concerns himself more with how to find contraband. He is obsessed with trying to outsmart his mom’s food rationing obsession.

I admit I’m struggling.

Last night’s meltdown is just another example of how difficult things have been for my adolescent boy. It seems I have lost what little respect he still had for me because we ran out of chips. He never did have “any of the Ruffles or Jalapeno Miss Vickie’s” (which his dad ate) and “that’s not! fair!” (cry me a river) 🙄

He is deeply offended and hurling insults. Mostly at me. (I never had a single contraband Pringle chip, if we’re keeping track. Not that he asked if he could take them. Not that he offered to share them. But I digress…)

There is absolutely nothing I can do which I haven’t already done. He can’t and won’t listen to reason.

And before you suggest I teach him how to make home-made salty snacks, I’ve already done that, too. Offered, that is.


The whole situation breaks my heart. This pandemic is so hard on an introverted teenager who was just beginning to come out of his shell a little bit halfway through grade 9.

Common sense tells me traditional, in-class school will not resume prior to summer vacation, and neither will his sports. I also suspect a new lifestyle will emerge as we enter the fall aka cold season with possibilities of localized epidemics re-emerging, so unfortunately we’re in this for the long haul.

Take a look at how long it’s taking other countries just to reach the peak… (or not. I don’t care. Believe what you want.)

I feel l equipped, and prepared, to make the best of what promises to be a very different new normal going forward. But, for at least one of my kids, the reality that this situation will have lingering, and prevalent effects hasn’t entered his conscious yet.

All of this, and more, is the reason why monitoring screen-time is the least of my problems now.

41 thoughts on “Who’s monitoring screen-time now?

  1. It is challenging. With one of my jobs, they are transitioning online…well, actually both but I understand online and have trained and worked before but it is still challenging and yes, some of the students will give up. Even the 18-20 year old freshman must be highly motivated to stay focused and finished. Was I that way or were you that way at that age? I was responsible but ironically, I am finding that many of them are not as proficient with the computer as they thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both of us (my partner and I) were responsible but the kids today are used to being handed everything…my partner says his college student attendance over the e-learning is about 30 out of 40 students consistently. So more than half…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t even thought about homeschooling more than 4-5 times. I mention it to the boy, but I leave it up to him to follow through. Or not. One of the blessings? of him being 18. I really like the idea of a chip budget. I think I’m going to make a snack budget for our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hear you on the home-schooling thing.

    Officially, we are on lockdown until April 19th (end of the Easter break) at which point the federal government will review the situation. Realistically, no-one expects this to be over before the end of May and it’s quite likely that schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

    But because there is no decision as to what is happening after Easter, the twins’ school is assuming that they will re-open and refusing to hand out any teaching material at all. The oldest boy does have enough to do a couple of hours each day and my partner is finding stuff for the twins — for now — but the lack of clarity is getting really frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have kids so I really am not entitled to an opinion and I know “that’s easy for you to say” yatta yatta, but I’m thinking that if I did have kids, I would just say F**ck School and let them just be on their screens or whatever. It’s bad enough being cooped up in your house with your parents…do they have to do SCHOOL too? Ugh! I vote no. Screens and snacks for everybody!!!! But I would make them help with dishes, laundry, and general tidying up. No major cleaning. Just enough to keep the bugs away. Ha ha.

    Ok I’ll go back to my childless corner and shut up now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Please continue to share your opinion. Sometimes this sort of comment is exactly what I need to hear.

      It’s ironic because I did say before I didn’t give a crap about school. Technically, I still don’t…Im not a fan if public education.

      I just wanted the one kid to DO something else besides scroll… 🙂

      Take care of you and your mom. Thank you for reading.

      PS the one teacher said online learning begins officially on April 6. I’m not holding my breath but I’m happy to hear there is something in the works…(yes I’m a hypocrite 😳)

      Stay safe. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whew! Glad I didn’t offend you with my childless opinions. LOL

        I’m sure there is no right or wrong in this COVID-19 situation. I just know that TO THIS DAY I still resent the parental nagging of my childhood, so I would like to see parents lighten up on that and just let the dang kids BE. I mean, obviously don’t tolerate any rudeness or disrespect and there’s a difference between a messy craft area and a bedroom where dirty plates on the floor are attracting bugs and rodents. Ha ha.

        Parents and kids being stuck in a house together 24/7 is HARD and I hope you guys can find a way to make it work so that NONE of you are curled up in a ball crying.

        I’m currently social distancing from my 92-yo mother because I am way too emotionally stressed out right now. She’s in the livingroom and I’m in my room having a time out. Hahahaha.

        Hang in there, and be safe! We will all get through this one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think Deb nailed it. Your sons are acting out due to the chaos. Pitching a fit about the lack of chips is ever so safer than pitching a fit because he’s worried about loved ones’ health and safety. I would suggest just react like a gray rock. As for the 2 hours of study time – whoa, whoa, whoa. How about breaking it into 20 minute segments (Pomodoro method)? 20 minutes on school, 10-20 minutes off, then 20 on again. That might help ease them into the routine.

    I feel for you. This is such a difficult time for everyone. It’s hard to parent through this. Hugs to you and your family. Best wishes for continued health….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb was exactly right. Will talk to his dad about assigning him control over the snacks.

      The 2 hours, no matter what increments, were doomed to fail regardless. I had given both kids short lists of expectations to be completed during the day at whatever time they wanted which worked with mixed results. In the meantime the schools are releasing work on April 6 so I have been relieved of homeschool duty. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Probably true. He needs more control over his life. Handing him control over the snacks may be the thing to do, with the understanding that we will not replenish until the next supply run. Hm…

      We’ll see. 🙂 Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There are a lot of people who are going to have PTSD after this is over, and others who will be so profoundly affected that it will change them forever even if it wasn’t necessarily traumatic for them.
    Screen time is the least of your worries right now.
    I’d be searching for Pringles delivery services if I were you🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had to sneak in to read this and now I have to comment. It’s control Claudette, not about trying to control you as his mom, but about trying to control the chaos that he doesn’t understand. I think you get that right? If he’s like most kids/teens, he’s overwhelmed, just as you are, but with a lot less life experience to deal with this. You can verbalize what you feel, he likely has no idea what he feels but needs a purpose, thus that control idea

    So how do you give him control? Put him in charge of the chips. Literally. Give him a chip budget for the week/month, however often you’re shopping. He can buy what he wants within that budget and then -the tough part- he has to figure out a fair system to give everyone their own fair share until the next trip to the store. Don’t set the ground rules other than that fairness idea and let him figure out how to make things work.
    Yes, he may eat all the chips himself, but maybe not. The son especially needs to control something so step back and let him and go with whatever he comes up with. Before the next shopping trip set down with him and figure out how things went. Don’t tell him how he did, ask him if he’s proud of his plan, did it work, what will he change for the next time….. Make him own his decisions and then get ready to see what he does the next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a great idea and I was slowly getting to this revelation as well. He has no self-control, so why not do as you say and let him have control? “Here’s the supply for the week. Up to you how you manage it. We will not replenish until next week.”

      I’ll try that next time we do a supply run which likely won’t be for another week.

      Thanksgiving you so much for commenting. I hope all is well for you and yours. ❤


  8. I’m a teacher. I can’t get my thirteen year old son to do more than an hour at the moment. He actually said today, ‘but it’s like a holiday, isn’t it mum?’ argggh. Feeling your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My honest and blunt opinion is that not one kid will suffer from a break in education, with the exception of those graduating high school this year.

      But yes, I completely understand what you are going through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I honestly think at the moment, what they need is a holiday! They’re stressed and anxious and this is all new. My son is going to get bored soon enough. Today, I asked him to research a place where one of his favourite You Tubers lives. He actually enjoyed this. I’m not giving up but I’m certainly not going to add to the stress. We are being inundated with parents saying their child is stressed. We all have enough to worry about. Sorry. Rant over. Love your blog. ☺️

        Liked by 2 people

  9. 😦 Both a heart wrenching and personal posting Claudette, I feel a little like an intruder reading because I haven’t children, but you gave an insight into how my sibling’s girls are coping, they’ll miss their friends, swimming practice galas……. this seems so unfair you’re not alone. You don’t want to read trite know it all answers from a stranger, but might children emerge stronger after lockdown, after weeks of confinement might they emerge more appreciative of the beauties around them? I’m a bit of an empath at heart…. hugs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am struggling with my 16 year old who only wants to be gaming and watching Videos and uses two devices at the same time and try’s to add the third one in as well. Today I threatened that if he did not start using the treadmill, there would be consequences. He did go on it for 45 minutes, since he could watch a video at the same time :-). so far he is not taking too many snacks, and seems to be listening to the rule that you must have a fruit before you can have a salty or sweet snack.

    I really have no clue if he has looked at any of the suggested sites as he growls when ever I ask.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Yes such a new normal . life is different. and who know how much it will go back to the same after all of this. M y new norm is here in many ways …I will eventually post can’t at the moment. Happy all of you are safe and healthy and yes some things do not change Hahaha ..boys and their chips. love it. No worries he will always love and respect you… and more after you get chips> (joking)


  12. Girl, you’re doing the best you can in an absolute crap situation. Not that it helps now, but my hope is that when he looks back on this time, he will remember his strong and loving mom who busted he ass to keep them safe and sound.
    I’m sending you so much peace and love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I listened to a podcast this morning where they talked about immunity to the virus once (if) you catch it, and how early studies do show that your immune system creates antibodies once you’ve been infected so you aren’t likely to get it again. That and the pressure to create a vaccine make me hopeful that the “new normal” won’t be vastly different than the “old normal”…but who knows. I definitely think this is a wake-up call to make the investment in an organized pandemic response team INSTEAD OF SLASHING THE BUDGET AND DISMANTLING THE DEPT. like certain unnamed world leaders with orange hair have done…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t get me started.

      I believe some studies about re-infection were done in China but under their communist rule, how can anyone believe anything coming out of there? I will stick to my few reputable sources and keep my hopes up.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I hear you, it’s a total snafu, and your post is so important. It’s connecting people who are feeling isolated and alone. Your honesty is refreshing! Hang in there, screw the screen time, pour yourself a glass of wine. Cheers! 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

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