I n the last month or so I have been in and out of home like a visitor. Thankfully my children are old enough to take care of themselves. Or so I hoped. On one of my trips away though during a routine call from home I found out that they had stayed up till late watching TV. On a school night!

So much for me trusting them to be responsible. It was disheartening that one of them had a test the following morning. Instead of doing some last minute revision however, he spent the evening watching more TV than he needed.

We have been strict with the children telling them when they should and should not watch TV. During the school term TV is restricted to a few hours over the weekend. But during examination time, there is no TV time. Judging by the happenings of that nightthe plan is only enforced when we are at home.

Something is missing for sure. If they cannot do the right thing when we are not around to check on them then we have a problem on our hands! Maybe it was a one-off but that is hard to tell now. I feel betrayed. I wish they knew how much I want to trust them and how much easier it would be if I did.

Although they promised it would not happen again, I am suspicious. I think we are going to have to change a few rules to get them to understand that the ban on TV is not a punishment. Rather, in the long run, they will reap the benefits. We survived on very limited viewing time and we turned out all right.

We used our time wisely (something we constantly pray about these days) by doing house chores that taught us the value of hard work, by reading more than they do and by chatting and interacting more with our peers outside of school, which helped to steadily improve our communication skills.

But there is a silver lining in this. At least they act as a team. Neither reported the other for derailing him even though I know the obvious ringleader. Instead they took collective responsibility for their misbehaviour.
The children have a special bond; Something I admire because I have a similar one with my siblings.

When you are on the outside though it can be lonesome. They have private jokes and frequently talk over my head. I cannot begrudge them this though because that is what we want for them. I need to know that even when we are not around they will have each other.