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“Come here for a minute.” My husband called me over to his computer screen.
On a whim, he had decided to check the Netflix history on each of the users. It was apparent that someone was watching way more media than allowed in our house. I started pacing and I’m sure smoke was billowing from my ears.
This is where I would have failed at trust-based parenting. I was prepared to do calmly find this child and revoke all media privileges in the name of ‘natural consequences.’ The trust-based parenting part was the “calm” part, of course.
However, my husband stopped me. “Let’s think through this,” he encouraged. This is the same man that’s sitting on the info that another one of our children lied to us and my in-laws about a brand-new gift they bought him that he broke. It’s a Nerf gun. He’s biding his time until he can ask the boys to challenge him in a Nerf war with their new, cool guns.
You see, my husband stopped to remember that our kids from hard places do not handle being accused very well. If I followed through with my plan, no lesson would be learned, and we would lose relationship capital that we didn’t even really have in the first place.
He came up with a plan where he printed off the last 100 watches–one copy for each kid. He told them we were doing a household media check and that everyone should go privately check off any show he had watched. Our guilty party was half honest, but that wasn’t really the point. She now knew that we could watch what she was doing. That was the point.
It almost killed me to not address it further, but we sat back and watched the next couple weeks. The watching stopped. She didn’t even watch the amount she was allowed. She holed herself up in her room less. And until the next conflict, she showed just a tad more affection to us. Hubby thinks she appreciated how we handled it. Leaving out the lecture (besides, it’s not like she can’t parrot those back word-for-word) gave us space to connect and work on our relationship which is what she really needs.
What do you think?