Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Works-For-Me- Wednesday : How much is too much TV?

We have had a good run lately and the TV has not been the most demanded form of entertainment in our house.  But we do go through chunks where "Can we watch a show?" is the question that is asked and whined over and over during the day.  The last time that it really started to get on my nerves I came up with something to try to manage our TV watching.  I was also stressed that they were spending too much screen time.  So for just a few days (not always, and forever - just a few days) I put this system into action.

We had two cups.  One held three Popsicle sticks that Charley decorated.  The other said TV cup on it.  (I know super creative!)

In the morning he got to put his three sticks in the plain empty cup.  During the day when he wanted to watch a show he had to take a stick and bring it to me and put it in the TV cup.  By doing this he was aware that he only had one or two sticks left.

The first day he was in tears because he used them all up in the morning.  But soon he learned that he needed to spread them out throughout the day.  During this first experience with this I also banned TV from 8 until 12:30 each day.  I figured one cartoon to wake up to....and then he could watch one in the afternoon during Henry's nap...and one around supper time when I was making dinner.  It worked slick.  It gave him the power over his TV shows - and we all know how much they love to have power.  And when the whining about a show began I told him to go get a stick - and if there weren't any sticks left - he had himself to deal with. 

I have the cups tucked up on our kitchen counter and Charley asks to "do" them every once in awhile.  I also noticed after we first used this strategy that my kids didn't watch "too much" TV.  It just seemed like it to me...because I am a mama that gets paranoid over screen time.  I have also used them to monitor the combined screen options in our games, computer, and TV.

How do you deal with your child's need to watch a show?  The whining? Demanding? and your own personal restrictions on how much you want them to have in front of the tv?

You can go here for more Works for Me Wednesday posts.


Rebecca said...

That is an awesome idea!

One Take On Life - Heather said...

Great idea! I love visuals for kids

Hattie said...

Okay I guess I'm horrible at paying attention to my boys tv time. But now that I think about it they really don't watch that much tv. They're mostly playing and I think it's just on for the background noise! Sometimes it's not even the tv that's on it's the radio. Great idea though for little ones!

The Gardiner Family said...

Love this, I will copy for sure!

SoCal Frugal said...

I must confess - I haven't exactly been the most attentive mommy about keeping track of t.v. time. Perhaps my brain simply will not hold that much information? I l.o.v.e. this idea and am totally going to steal.. umm... borrow it!

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome idea! We don't tend to watch a lot of television, but Cooper is definitely one to whine when he wants to or to whine when he wants just one more show. This is definitely going to be something we try!


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