Chapter 16 Action

Karen woke up with a start, scrambling for the clock on her bedside table and realising it said it was 3 pm. ‘Oh my God!’ she cried, and elbowed Russ in the ribs. Russ opened one eye sleepily and grunted. ‘Wake up, babe.’ She swung her legs over the side of the bed. God knows what the kids were up to — although she had a sneaking suspicion that Taz would still be on the PlayStation.

Sure enough, he was — surrounded by wrappers, water bottles and a half-empty packet of biscuits. Taz was in the zone. The other two were in their bedrooms, headphones on, looking at their laptops.

Karen felt both relieved that everyone was okay and annoyed that technology was the main focus of their kids’ lives when they were unsupervised. It was a constant struggle to get them off screens and into the real world — and one her parents never had to deal with. She wondered what this would mean for them as grown-ups — particularly Taz, who had been exposed to technology and screens practically from birth.

She had noticed kids at his school who seemed to have the ‘faraway stare’ she knew to be an overdose of screens. It was hard work getting kids to do other things when home, she knew that all too well. She also knew that mums who worked would struggle even more with keeping their kids busy and active. She worried to herself that her ambitions to make money would come at the expense of her kids.

‘Well, other women do it, so I can too,’ she said to herself determinedly. She was not ...

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