Confronting sleepover moment ... children and screens...

My 10 year old son had 2 friends sleep over the other night.

He’d already had a few sleepovers at theirs, so I asked them all over here instead. My boy was concerned that they wouldn’t be able to do all the things he does at their house, so I asked about his concerns.

Keeping in mind we are a progressive, natural-learning family, we have open communication, the children have a lot of freedom, and we also prioritise health and wellbeing so we do have boundaries and agreements around certain things. This changes as the children get older, with more maturity and freedom to take responsibility for their own choices.

We are a tech-friendly family. Both my partner and myself have online businesses, and the children all have their own computers. The older ones also have phones.

Our boy was concerned that our lifestyle is different to his friends', related to the type of foods they eat (more processed), screen time (unlimited), bedtimes (up after midnight, late waking), and being able to go out and wander the streets without any restrictions.

Keep this in mind: they are 10.

I reassured him it would be okay, they can come here and have fun and I will step back so they can pretty much have all that freedom, as long as we keep communication clear, especially with outings. It’s okay for them to go places, I just need to know where they’re going and how long they’ll be.

On one of their outings on scooters, they were looking in the window of Domino’s pizza, and a woman walking past asked them if they had enough money for a pizza. They replied that they didn’t, so she gave them money for a pizza. What a lovely gesture.

So, the boys took the money and went to the supermarket. They stocked up on fizzy sugary drinks, confectionary and chips. My son is quite sensitive, and ever since he was little, he’s been affected by some of the chemicals and colours in food, which can lead to emotional meltdowns and aggression.

Besides basic common sense and distrust of the chemical ‘food’ industry, this is one of the reasons we have conversations and balance around what we put in our bodies at home.

It can be really hard when it’s so normal for people to eat chemicals disguised as food, and then we deal with the aftermath of the toxic effect this has on his being. It’s not like we don’t have that stuff from time to time, because it creeps in anyway.

We are not purists by any stretch of the imagination, but I do prefer health.

Anyway, I surrendered.

The other difference is that his friends have phones, and he doesn’t. I am not willing for him to have a phone yet, because I know too much about them. This is something I will delay as long as possible.

So, the boys came over and had their fun, went out, bought stuff, spent chunks of time sitting next to each other while looking into their phones, while my son played his xbox. I mean, it’s pretty normal these days for children to be on their devices side by side without actually connecting with each other, right?

Again, I surrendered.

As the evening got later, the chemicals and sugar was kicking in, the boys were getting irritable and critical of each other, and mostly were sitting with their faces in their phones, while my son’s energy was moving between trying to get his old tablet up and running, and playing the xbox.

Quality time ain't what it used to be...

> As a side note, the following day we sat with him, researched and compared the latest tablets, and got him a new tablet which he’s stoked about. This will also delay the phone conversation a bit longer...

As the evening got later, I was still up. It was getting close to midnight. By this stage, the boys were slumped sideways on the couch, each friend in a blue light trance watching YouTube or ticktock or some sort of nonsensical short-video app.

Between them, there were 3 different audios happening over the top of each other. The videos they watch are very choppy and distorted, quickly flicking from one scene to the next, ADHD style, with a lot of distorted sounds, unfinished sentences, screams and samples and ’scratch across the record’ sounds. Essentially, a lot of noise that doesn’t make much actual sense. It's very brain scrambling material.

I’m in the kitchen, I’m already sensitive because I’m bleeding (menstruating) and I’m hearing all these distorted sounds over each other.

One of the videos has this voice in the background saying, “Support LGBTQI support LGBTQI support LGBTQI” over and over again behind the music, like a subliminal but not really subliminal trance soaking into their consciousness. 

To be clear, I have no issue with people's choices of who they are or who they want to have sex with, but I'm seeing these boys are being infiltrated by messages they are not consciously choosing, and I'm well aware of the transgender agenda and quest to disconnect our children from their true nature. I'm watching it right in front of me. It's not even subtle.

Then, in one of the videos I hear a young girl child’s voice giggling and saying, “I fucked your daddy hahaha” with the ‘fucked’ slightly distorted but super obvious.

By this stage, I'm almost hyperventilating and feel like I’m in a bad episode of black mirror. My heart is starting to race, I’m feeling a wave of anxiety starting to wash over me…

What are these boys soaking in to their precious brains?

Ohmygod… I’m feeling bewildered, heartbroken and a deep sense of futility about the world we’re in, with our beautiful, innocent children soaking in all this distortion and headfuckery.

“I can’t be in this world,” I think to myself. I am not coping.

Part of me is drowning…

I’m watching the boys being zombified and brainwashed right in front of my eyes. It’s late. They are half out of it. Lying sideways. Half awake, eyes droopy, it’s all just soaking into their brains and nervous system with no filter. It’s complete nonsensical, corrupted, distorted stuff they’re marinating in.

And I have agreed to step back. But my mama heart is on fire.

And it's so late.

I take a breath, step forward and casually ask,

“Hey boys, how are you going? Are you feeling tired?”

They mumble “mm hmm” from their blue light trance, without blinking or moving a muscle.

“Okay boys, how about we start to wind up, your beds are ready and you can get some rest.”

No response. Blue light trance. They are asleep with their eyes open.

I step back again, feeling so disheartened at what is happening to them. And worse, for the boys visiting, that this is their life. Their life!! Our precious children, so pure, innocent and beautiful, being infiltrated by this.

Eventually, after another gentle prompt from me to interrupt the trance, they start to shuffle a little bit. I don't know how much longer they would usually stay there without an adult to care.

They make their way to the tent I’d set up for them on the front deck so they could all sleep together. They go in there and start crinkling chip packets, munching, and putting each other down. They are super tired and cranky. They are arguing about the chips. Someone rips the packet open and I hear chips spill out.

“Do you need some help in there, boys?” I ask, as my bedroom window is right next to the tent.

“Yes, mum can you get a container for the chips?” my boy responds.

Keep in mind, I'm fucking tired. I've already been bleeding for almost a week, it's past midnight, and I'm feeling quite drained after what I witnessed.

“Sure,” I get up and find what they need, and help them clean up the tent.

My son is not feeling great, he has a sore belly, and the other boys are pushing each other around and laughing, making fun of each other.

“I’m not sleeping in here!” he said in a cranky voice, and made his way inside.

Quietly, when my boy came inside, I told him he could sleep in with us if he wants. We have a single mattress we put next to our bed in the family bedroom, where he still sleeps sometimes.

He came in there, lay down next to me, and reached his hand up to hold mine.

“Do you want a hug?” I asked him quietly.

He crawled up into the bed alongside me, and I held him in my arms, heart to heart. I felt so much love in my heart resonating with his. As a practitioner aware of entrainment, I know that holding him close to me is helping regulate and balance his little system.

I felt so much love, gratitude and relief for this precious moment of connection.

The next morning, Brett and I quietly left the bedroom so our boy could stay sleeping in the dark with the curtains closed.

The other boys got up and made their way into the lounge room while our boy was still asleep.

“Hi boys, would you like some breakfast?” I asked them.

With glazed eyes, slow and sluggish, they both told me they weren’t hungry. They picked up their phones and the cycle started again…

I felt a deep level of heartbreak for what I was witnessing. I can not quite express the depth of sadness I felt watching this.

Which no doubt contributed to the intensity of my blood gushing the next day… which you can read about here.


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