For several days now, I'd always catch my 9-year old taking a nap at an irregular hour of 5:30PM. As soon as I'd see him, I'd immediately wake him up because I didn't want him to wander off schedule and we would have to contend with sleeping problems later in the night. He's real bedtime is 8:30pm on school days.
This afternoon, he fell asleep again.
It bothered me that he was always so tired between 4-6pm lately, so today I asked him if he wasn't feeling well or if there was something that was bothering him. He said he was fine and that everything's okay. He was just bored to death because after studying his lessons, he's left with nothing to do. And he blames me for his boredom because I apparently "took away his TV viewing time". (Looooong story, but yes, he's not allowed to watch TV for two weeks.)
So I told him, ""No TV for a while is good...you're doing very well in school, right?" [Proud parent alert: He won the gold medal for the Science Quiz Bee last Monday :D]
He responded that yes, I could be right. But then I should have known what was about to come, the way my son was thinking. He shot back at me and asked: "But Mom, what about you? Isn't watching too much TV bad for you too?"
My mind raced for something clever to say. Something that wouldn't look like I was saying one thing and doing something else (even if I was). Something that's not contradicting. Something that would still allow me to watch all the TV I want (wehehe), but something my son would also get and learn --- that too much TV is also bad.
Now how do I that?
"Well..... I don't have assignments to do and I don't have to study for school," was all I could come up with.
"So it's not bad for you, but bad for me?" the boy tells me.
"Uhm, yes... ?" I wasn't so sure about that myself.
I think I need help. :(
The reason why I took away his TV privileges was simple: he was forgetting how to focus and prioritize. And to top that, a few weeks back, he pissed his father for behaving as if his mind was on slow motion, missing that "intel inside" chip. And of course, who would the father blame but me? (And I would blame the Smallville Marathon!!!! Bwaha!)
So both of us, my son and I, had to make adjustments. And it's a good thing my son quickly caught on. It's a good thing he's got better head on his shoulders, a better sense of things (than I do!).
Anyway, our conversation this afternoon ended with a confirmation and an assurance that I need not worry my son is going to dumb down from watching too much TV or that too much TV is doing him more harm than good. What he told me was interesting, very interesting.
He related to me how many of his classmates' families were planning on migrating to America and that he'd lose about 3 of them next year, should that happen. I mentioned matter-of-factly that lots of Pinoy families today decide on leaving this god-forsaken country because life is too hard here now.
And then I asked him if he wants us to move to America, too.
He said he didn't want to leave this country for America. When I asked why, what he told me surprised me:
"I know America is beautiful, but it's not safe, it's always under attack by other countries angry at America and I would be afraid to live there."
"Where did you learn that?" I asked.
"From TV." He said, matter-of-factly.