My eight year-old son loves his video games – and I love to limit his game time. He typically gets an hour a day (which I’m convinced is still too much but haven’t the energy for that battle just yet), and when he sits down to play, I set 30 to 60 minutes on the microwave timer. His choice.
This morning it occurred to me that he’s tall enough to reach the timer himself, and that I could teach him to monitor his own time. A win-win. I told him as much, and was met with some resistance. “Mo-om! Can’t you just do it for me?”
I smiled and put on my best sage-mom voice (admittedly, it’s not great), and quoted, “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. If you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”
He stared a me.
My sage-mom voice dissolved and I gestured at the microwave. “Do you think you understand what that means for us right now?”
He stared. Then, a mischievous twinkle. “I do. It means that if you set the timer for me, I’ll play for 30 minutes, but if I set the timer myself, I’ll play for a lifetime.”
I’ve never seen him quite so amused with himself.
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