Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day UGH and UGH AGAIN. Day 3-10

It's getting far more difficult.
To keep the boys brains away from violence.

When I say "violence," let me be clear that I am not talking about domestic or child abuse. Nor thankfully, anything traumatic within my sons lives. You see, I'm trying to "soften" them.

"Pretty dumb to think you can soften boys?"
Yes, I've heard a few fellow "Moms" mention my motives, in that lovely manner.

I'm not trying to soften them for weakness. I'm trying to soften them to increase their strengths.
In the same regard that you enroll your child into Karate, not to become a better fighter, but to soften that urge to fight, and to teach control. I'm pretty sure Karate means, "empty handed fighting."

Speaking of karate, we've enrolled our oldest in Dojo around here.
It is a way to help "soften" his busy boyhood love of dark video games and TV cartoon shows. It is also giving him an outlet, to learn control, obtain confidence, and realize that the best tactics of "violence," are no tactics, just stance. No fights. No fists. Just confidence and the ability to show people that you can control your "urges" or emotions.

So, we've said "No to violence," and "Yes" to Karate. Confusing?
We're teaching our very black and white oldest, that there is in fact a pretty cool gray area in life. We're saying, "we think you spend too much time watching fights, playing fights, and so forth," but "we want you to learn a form of fighting." As that's how most kids see Karate, before becoming a little dragon.
He needed the confidence boost, and it's amazing how well it's working.

So why that first sentence, "it's getting far more difficult?"

Because the outside world, the ones that enjoy teaching, the "Moms" of other little children, seem to make it far more difficult for me, and not just because they "don't get" what the big deal is, and why we have said "no to violence," for the summer.

Who would have thought that at this point, the most challenging of all, would be the other Moms.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 3

It's going to be a long summer...

DAY 3.
It's a smidgen more reckless today then the first two days. Perhaps for the same reason when you cease the nicotine the third day and week seem more challenging then the first few.
It's why the muscles hurt a couple of days after starting up exercise.
The brain has sent and received and delivered the message that there isn't any violence, and the muscles are twitching. The brain is stuttering to find itself without the video game nonsense. Without the war games.

It's a stuttering summer of "what do I do now, Mom?"

I find myself having less "alone time," if that's a far statement to make.
I find it very tempting to just say "screw it, here's the controller, go play a video game, or feel free to watch a ninja fighting cartoon on the TV...."

But how will I be able to back up my lecture without proof? If I approach this experiment in the same way I did to help tackle IBS, food journal, I'll be able to look back and see the results.

But first I've got to go forward.

The boys are playing better together--and to think three's a crowd.-- But they're running out of things to do.
At least in their eyes, they are.

It's going to be a long summer....

But not a violent one.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It's 7:30 am. All the boys are awake and ready to run this morning.

With Day one being a success, I feared the wrath of what might be Day 2.
Will they run through the house twitching in withdrawals?

I just held my breathe and prayed that Day 2 unfolds in a healthy way.

Ironically, it did.

Day 2 found my sons outside, along with all their stuffed animals, aka Cuddles, on a blanket.
Soon enough, as our house seems to be the yard and house kids gravitate to, the other neighborhood kids were up and ready to drive their own mom's crazy.

Soon enough we had a zoo of stuffed fur in our yard. I've never seen so many more boys in my life, with stuffed animals. I considered taking a picture of it, but feared it would ignite a thought such as:  "You're a boy!!!!!!!!!! You're playing with stuffed animals. That's cheesefest 101!"

These kids played outside all day, with their stuffed animals. It was remarkable to see.
They even went so far as to play a "hide and go seek" game with their stuffed animals.

They go from playing "War and hide and kill...."

one day.....
...and the next.......

They're outside playing with their stuffed animals, with the rest of the neighborhood crew......
Hiding them in trees. Like resurrecting the Easter Eggs.

Goes to show you, that kids just love to play.
No matter what it is.

Let's hope tomorrow will be as good as today was.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


What happens when a parent removes every violent video game, every violent cartoon and TV show, violent words and every violent kid friendly, (if that ever can be considered part of one sentence) light saber, gun, sword in their son's life?

We have yet to see what will happen, but it's our hope that whatever change is brought from it, will be positive.

Why did we do this?

 Because we're convinced our children, at our own doings, are addicted to violence.

What's the length of time for this project?:

Undetermined. If we were to set a 30 day rule, then we fear the kids may feel as though they can "return" to their lifestyle. Ideally, though, we'd love to see 30days of this and beyond, for we do know that in order to change a behavior, in children, will most likely take at least 30days.

What led us to this?

That will be discussed in time. For now, we are capturing the changes in our sons, when the majority of their playing world, is removed, in hope to encourage far more healthy "kid friendly" play. Which will help them grow up into healthy young tweens, teens and adults.


We sat them down this morning, and told them the news of our new "project". This being after Brian and I spent a long night documenting and outlining this project, and the little parts of what we will allow and what we won't. We didn't want them to "beat themselves up," or "blame themselves," for this, but we wanted them to know how important this matter is.

Sunday morning, we gathered our three little men into their backyard.
Had them sit, within two inches of one another on their picnic table, and we mad our announcement of what they will be gaining.

 Naturally, as kids generally do, they asked questions that we hadn't even considered, but this is a project in the works..

(NOTE: It's Tuesday, and we still don't know how to approach these questions, but we know this project isn't just for our son's development, but for our own as well)

We realize we can't remove every bit of "violence" in a young boys life. The hard part is knowing what is 'acceptable violence' vs 'nonacceptable.' Is Tom and Jerry out because the cat beats up the mouse?
Can they still play football outside although they're using two hands to "soft push" the other team?

We have taken away everything that has become a "constant" negative in their little lives. 

They all helped Dad pick up and gather every gun, sword, light saber and costume that lay around the garage in bins, as their only method of play, was playing "war" with the neighborhood crew. They each picked boxes that we will store their "weapons" in. They helped carry the boxes into the house, and watched as Dad and I carried them downstairs to the basement.

We also whispered all the "violent" words, that are no longer acceptable within this family, into the "Whisper box." We discussed what words are acceptable, and what words are not. We gave them all an opportunity to "pick up these words," and pluck them from their mouths, to store them in the 'whisper word box" to clean them up and make them shiny again.

They enjoyed doing this, as boys and kids do. They've already asked if we could all make them their own "whisper boxes." Which in time, we told them yes, but for now, this is for all of us, we share everything as a family, so all our words will be cleaned together, in our one whisper box.

They were okay with that.

They spent the entire day playing baseball and football in the yard. We even heard them tell the neighborhood boys that "we can't play fight games anymore, because we're not making good choices. But we can still play with you, but you can't play with any of our guns and swords or outfits because we put them in special boxes and put them away."

The neighborhood boys were perfectly fine with this. Surprisingly, later that day, they went home and told their parents about what's going on in this household.

Yet another good sign.

Ben did try to turn a blue golf club into a sword, but we handed him a ball and thankfully, redirection was a success.

All three boys and Dad took a bike ride to the local park, where they rode their bikes in the skate tracks and they all played a game of basketball.
Ben (and I) attended a birthday party at a gymnastic center. Our other boys and Daddy went on a bike ride, played baseball with the neighborhood boys, climbed trees, and got muddy.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and like any addiction, things will probably get worse before they get better. But for being day 1, I have to say, that they did pretty well.