Have you ever wondered if your child is addicted to electronics? Here’s a handy guide to help you break it down.
1. Allow sufficient time on said electronic device. Less than it would take her to read War and Peace but longer than it takes you to remove skid marks from your husband’s underwear.
2. Ask politely if she would mind finishing up in the next 5 minutes.
3. Remind her there is but one minute left in the original 5 minute warning.
4. Tell her calmly time is up.
5. Listen intently as she tells you “One sec.”
6. Use your stern parent voice and threaten to physically remove electronic from her hands.
7. Glimpse an eye roll worthy of an Oscar.
8. Threaten not only to confiscate electronic but to send her to her room if she rolls her eyes at you.
9. Listen as she stares right into your eyes and claims she definitely, most certainly did NOT roll her eyes at you.
10. Remind her (again) that every time she lies, somewhere out there a newborn puppy dies.
11. Realize that during this entire exchange she has continued to play Mine Craft out of the eye that is not rolling.
12. Remind her again that Electronic Hour is over.
13. Watch as she slams her electronic down on the living room table, grunts, and immediately tells you she is bored.
14. Mention there are a plethora of activities from which to choose that do not require staring at a tiny screen. It helps if, at this stage, you recall all the fun games you played as a child, including but not limited to: kickball, pick up sticks, kick the can, and hop scotch.
15. Observe your sweet, bright-eyed child transform into an irritable, scrunched-up asshole. You can actually see the struggle, pain and downright misery of her blissful childhood written on her face.
16. Explain to the fruit of your loins that if she continues to act like a spoiled brat, electronics will be gone forever. You both know it’s an empty threat, but as long as you maintain eye contact and appear reasonably confident, she will eventually back down.
17. Watch as she extracts herself from the couch and proceeds to scream in an octave only dogs can hear, all the while strutting around raising her hands above her head like a cartoon chicken.
18. Calmly explain that her electronic is now being taken for 24 hours and she should quickly get her shit together.
19. Witness her open and close her mouth like a goldfish, apparently losing all ability to communicate, turn on her heel and march upstairs to her room.
20. As she ascends the staircase, you hear exclamations of “ruining my life” and “moving out” through tear-stained cheeks. You’re not certain who will hire a 12-year-old but quickly jot down a list of possible employers.
21. She appears 5 minutes later to “apologize” and ask for her electronic to be returned.
22. Upon hearing the word ‘No,’ she repeat steps 15-20, but also throws in that you are being “unreasonable” and are “overreacting.”
23. Lick the salt from your wound. Chase with a lime and shot of tequila.
If any of these sound familiar to you, your child may be addicted to electronics. Welcome to the club. Seriously, I’m starting a club. The only requirements are alcohol, a sense of humor and a charger.