Last September, Em’s school encouraged kids to enter something called “TV Turnoff”. They had the option of signing up for Gold (no TV or screens Sunday through Thursday); Silver (30 minutes per day, Sunday through Thursday); or Bronze (1 hour per day, Sunday through Thursday.) At the end of the year, if each kid stuck with it, he or she would receive an award. Em signed up for silver.
We did ok for a lot longer than I thought we would. But right around January things started to slip. I became bigger and a lot more exhausted. We got blasted by snow storm after snow storm. There are a hundred excuses as to why we started watching more TV (namely movies). And the boys started to play the Wii as well. They had a blast playing video games together. Needless to say, we didn’t stick with TV Turnoff.
Well, about two weeks ago the person in charge of TV Turnoff sent home a paper for parents to sign to let the school know how each student performed. I spoke with Em and we both agreed that he didn’t qualify. And he didn’t seem to care. I suppose being able to watch TV over the course of the year was enough of an award.
That was that. But then last weekend, I was speaking to another parent whose child is a bit older and who has done TV Turnoff for many years. She said that the first year she told the truth, that her son didn’t stick with it. And then during the ceremony he was the only child who didn’t receive an award. She was later told that they all just fill it out, everyone wins even if they didn’t actually stick to the original goal. So from that point on, she just signed it.
Umm, oops? I guess?
I’m too late anyway. The paper had to be completed last week. So Em won’t be getting an award and I’m gathering he may be the only one who doesn’t. And while he agreed at the time, that we didn’t comply, I’m certain being left out will make him feel bad.
But should I have lied? Doesn’t that set a terrible example? That your word means nothing? Toby and I are adamant about telling the truth; we hammer this home a lot, letting him know that if he tells the truth, no matter how bad it may be, he will be in a lot less trouble (if any) than if he lies.
Maybe I’ll take him for ice cream, give him an award for being honest.