For this past Christmas, we declared an electronics moratorium. Earlier in the fall, we realized that some of our family habits related to electronics had become detrimental to us all. Temptation to play when school was supposed to be done (or other responsibilities) and saying yes to those temptations had happened.
It was a severe wake up call to all of us that something had to be done. So all the electronics were confiscated. And locked away. We returned to the old school ways of conversation and communication and board games and card games and family time.
It was the healthy reboot that all of us needed.
So when it came time to write a Christmas list, I told the boys to leave electronics off of it. No new iPods, Wii games, DSi games, computer games, apps, et cetera.
To our delight, the older two requested musical instruments. Nate wanted an acoustic guitar and Matthew wanted a keyboard. (Yes, I know it's electronic, but it received an exception.) Samuel just wanted a bunch of Atlanta Falcons' gear.
Christmas morning came around and delight was seen on faces when presents were opened. And then music ensued. Not cacophony. Which could have happened, but music.
Earlier we had tried piano lessons for Matthew, but the instinct and discipline to practice and give attention to detail was not there. Nate had never shown an inclination for music either. I grew up playing the piano and had always wanted that someone in the family would show a love for music. Husband was a trumpet player. Both of us were in school band.
Anyway, there is something to be said for personal discovery and interests. These last few weeks without formal lessons of any kind, both boys have begun to teach themselves. I have enrolled them in a co-op class that will give some direction, but pretty much their afternoons are engaged in practicing, discovering, and creating.
Electronics to a small degree have been phased back in but with a greater appreciation and accountability for their ability to deceive us into wrong habits. Meanwhile, a sweet music is happening with my teens, and I am truly grateful.
The band plays on.