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Fiddler
06-28-2010, 08:06 PM
Okay, friends. What do you all do about your kids and how much "screen time" they log every day? My 12-year-old is driving me nuts right now! Not wanting to play with other kids or his siblings, complaining about the very little we require him to do to contribute to the family (walk the dog, empty half the dishwasher every day), etc., because he wants to be doing XYZ on his iPod, the computer, the TV. Arrrgh. Wondering what has worked for other families. Insight needed, please!

Snoopy
06-28-2010, 08:19 PM
My kids have to earn computer and videogame time by reading. 1 min of reading = 1 min of video games and we do not allow rollover minutes :) During the school year, TV time is limited to maybe 1hr a day but only if it's Disney Channel, Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon (yes, even for the teens). They usually don't even bother. During the summertime I'm much more lenient. But if they get in trouble because of any reason (talking back, leaving a mess everywhere...), then any screen time becomes off limit.

SherryZoned
06-28-2010, 08:27 PM
That is a tough one we are having the same problem. I do not mind them having media but they have to do chores, get some exercise, be creative, just anything else besides the screen. Sometimes on rainy days they can spend all day with media and I don't care but that is only once or twice a month.

StartingOver
06-28-2010, 08:29 PM
Chopping wood worked for my sons, and no we didn't have a fireplace LOL. When they were that age they needed some kind of physical work, to be able to not be bored. Mom had no issue with providing it.

My little ones watch a couple of shows. We have no video games in the house. I probably won't at all this time around. If I hear I am bored, then even at this age I give chores. Of course at this stage the little ones thing dusting is fun. But teen boys will do school work over weeding the garden, or mowing the lawn, washing the car, etc. LOL

It works for me !!!

Busygoddess
06-28-2010, 08:34 PM
My kids get up to 2hrs a day of non-school related screen time (excetions may be made for movies lasting longer than 2 hrs or special occasions). They have to earn the time by doing their schoolwork (including at least 30min quiet reading) & their chores. If they can't do their chores & schoolwork, I see no reason to grant them the privelege of TV or computer time. Also, hubby or I has to approve of what they'll be doing with that screen time. We monitor what they watch, sites they visit, etc, as well as how much time they spend on it.

Fiddler
06-28-2010, 08:51 PM
Can I print out your answers and show my son he's not the only one with rules? I think he thinks he has the only "mean mom" in the neighborhood! :)

StartingOver
06-28-2010, 08:54 PM
LOL They all believe they are the only ones on earth having to go through the teen years, no one has it as bad as them, no one has parents as bad as theirs, LOL Thank goodness the teen years don't last any longer than they do, or WE might not survive them LOL.

camaro
06-28-2010, 10:05 PM
Now that summer is here, my 3 seem to be somewhat self-regulating. They seem to be spending a lot more time away from screens lately. There's some video games and a tiny bit of TV, but they are outside a lot more often or even just playing in their rooms. I hope it lasts.

Fiddler
06-28-2010, 10:12 PM
Oh, to have a self-regulator! Well, I do--two of them--but they are nine and five. The twelve-year-old literally seems addicted to his screens. We've gotten lax as summer has progressed and he's a "give him an inch, he'll take a mile" kind of kid. I like the idea of trading reading (or MATH--that would be the ultimate in trading) minutes for screen time. Jazz used to read incessantly but he seems to have slowed down considerably and often starts but does not finish the books he does read.

Busygoddess
06-28-2010, 10:26 PM
Unfortunately, my kids seem to be the only ones in the neighborhood with rules & responsibilities. The neighborhood kids are unsupervised whenever they're outside, even the ones who are younger than Jay (who's only 6). They play in the alley, ride their bikes in the street, go into people's yards without permission, hit houses with sticks & rocks, etc. When we tell them that our kids can't come out until they've done their chores or schoolwork, the neighborhood kids look at us like we're speaking a foreign language, then they ignore that we told them that & ring the doorbell 5 minutes later to ask (again) if the kids can come out to play.
Of course, this makes my kids complain because "The other kids don't have to do chores before they can play. They don't have to check in with their parents. They don't have to stay in a restricted area (this one was when we told them they couldn't walk to a gas station with the 5y.o. neighbor, because the gas station was known for being a common place for drug deals)."

SherryZoned
06-28-2010, 10:41 PM
Same here BusyGoddess! This is not a good neighborhood and I know it is hard on my kids because basically there is no one to play with so they get more media time..I hope to move in the next couple years.

Melyssa
06-29-2010, 02:21 AM
Ugh! I am struggling with this now because when we were in moving process last fall it was easy to just tell her to watch tv, use the computer, etc while I got work done. This went on for weeks and then after we moved, she was very lonely and very bored so once again I got really lenient with screen time rules. Basically, we've had none for 10 months. On the other hand I hate to have her cut back because we've yet to make any friends here. She entertains herself to a certain extent but then after awhile she starts bugging me a lot and I have my own things that need to be done. Sorry, no answers. I am no help! Felt better though to vent a little.

mommykicksbutt
06-29-2010, 07:54 AM
Since we live on a military base in Spain (a Spanish base - not American) and there is only AFN (armed forces network) television, TV basically sucks here. So TV is NOT a problem, however video games are (X-BOX). So we have a limit of 2 hours per day with no rollover to the next day of unused time. However, before any X-box can be played, work must be done. Sonny gets paid by commission not an allowance. We (sonny and I) have made a list of things for him to do and how much he should be paid each time he does them. If he doesn't do chores - he doesn't get paid. He must do 1 'major' chore a day to get his x-box time (vacuum interior of car). He has daily 'basic' chores that he will do anyway at anytime of the day and does not apply to the x-box. (i.e. daily 'fetch' fee of 25 cents ... "go get a pad of paper from the storage closet, please."). We started doing this in Oct and it is working so far. He's linked work (chores) with instant gratification (X-box) and financial gain (commission). The commission is also how we teach about money management, he doesn't get to spend it all. He has to put 5-10% away for charity (animal shelter is his choice), 10% away for a car, 10% away for college, 35% away for short term savings (that video game he is saving for-which we must approve), and the remainder goes into his wallet to spend on whatever he wants (usually a hot dog and soda at the pool with his friends). We started the commission thing before the x-box and this is how he bought his x-box.

elkhollow
06-29-2010, 09:12 AM
My rule is no TV at all during the week. It wasn't always this way. We didn't let my oldest watch TV at all for about 3 years but slowly that evil crept into our home. It got to be too much and I contemplated throwing all the TVs out. Trouble is, dh LOVES TV and we have a pretty new, giant screen that makes our living room look like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Kind of hard to get rid of that,especially when he's been fairly good about not turning it on while the kids are awake, except for sports, and I don't mind that. We also let them watch for a couple of hours on Saturday morning and a movie either Friday or Sunday night. They never watch children's programming from cable. Only DVDs. I used to use the TV for rewards but I realized that it increased the value of the TV while decreasing the value of whatever activity they had to do to get it. I have noticed since I implemented my "no TV during the week rule" that we all read more, talk more, play games more, and the kids fight less.

Video games...urgh. They used to have things like JumpStart and that was all, but now they have discovered Bejeweled. I don't allow that during the week at all either, just the educational stuff. They do not have hand held games or iPods. I'm reaching for that soapbox about how disconnected we all are because of these horrible, portable electronic devices. No one talks anymore. I see people at dinner and they are each texting somebody else. How rude is that, and what is the point of having dinner with someone if you aren't even going to look at them , much less talk, but they are both doing it! I do not understand it. I'm stepping off now before I launch into the whole evil electronic take over of the world speech.

Talk about your mean moms, huh?

SherryZoned
06-29-2010, 10:31 AM
I think you make some great points elkhollow. I do know sometimes we do need to disconnect, and about a couple days a month there is a no media day for anyone. Other times specially during the summer we are on stuff more then normal like right now because I am trying to get there homeschool stuff done so they are doing more independent media time.

During the week during the school year they will get maybe 2 hours of media a day which includes, tv, video games,play computer time. My oldest son has to have his mind occupied or we have some serious emotional anger issues that come out so I have found the nintendo DS a blessing! When he is really bad I can tell him to go play for 30 minutes and he will be fine after that. Just something that diffuses whatever is going on in his mind.

I personally choose to embrace media! I know that technology is just a part of life right now, and for the foreseeable future. The oldest son will be doing a lot of school work on the computer, as the 5 year old will be doing some. They enjoy it and I want them to be able to use every advantage they have and media is one of them!

Still is all about balance though. We still have family dinners except on friday or saturday where it is dinner on the floor with a movie with the family. I think whatever works for your family best is the best way to go about it.

hjdong
06-29-2010, 12:10 PM
Oh, to have a self-regulator! Well, I do--two of them--but they are nine and five. The twelve-year-old literally seems addicted to his screens. We've gotten lax as summer has progressed and he's a "give him an inch, he'll take a mile" kind of kid. I like the idea of trading reading (or MATH--that would be the ultimate in trading) minutes for screen time. Jazz used to read incessantly but he seems to have slowed down considerably and often starts but does not finish the books he does read.

Are you sure you're not raising my son? He seems to have chilled out one accepting that summer did not mean unlimited video games, but the complaint fest was on for a while.

Here, we do reading one was in the car, DS the other (which more or less works out minute to minute, although he reads more than that) and a movie or equivalent time playing video games. 99% of the time he chooses a movie, because he, I don't know, forgets? already had DS time?

I am, of course, the meanest mother in the world.

dbmamaz
06-29-2010, 02:22 PM
We are a family of electronic-mediia feinds. Its funny, i lived with no television for YEARS, but gave in to it when the ex had carpel tunnel surgery and couldnt even hold a book. Its taken over our lives. Plus the internet is my main socail outlet, and dh is totally addicted to World of Warcraft, playing probably 3-4 hours weekdays and 6-8 weekend days.

My 14 yo is no allowed to have a pc on the network because he has downlaoded really bad virsusses too many times and just wasnt learning, but he has the Wii and an ipod touch (present from the ex's family) on line. Each membero fo the family has a pc.

Rules - during 'school time' all non-educational electronics are off. Any bad attitude/refusal of chores can and will be punished with 'no electronics the rest of the day'. This is very effective for getting compliance, but the problem seems to be that the boys now think even more highly of electronics, almost never wanting to do anything else in their free time. Of course, neither do I.

Busygoddess
06-29-2010, 08:20 PM
Every now and then my kids get obnoxious about wanting more screen time. This is usually when they have found a new show on the Roku, I've installed new software on the desktop, or I've introduced them to a new fun site. It's the newness factor & wears off relatively soon. If they're irritating about screen time for a week, I ban them from all non-school related screen time for a week (sometimes more). If they continue to persist in their irritation, they get school related screen time taken away, as well. They have no problem finding other ways to entertain themselves. They don't place tv or computer higher than other forms of entertainment (board games, card games, playing outside, etc). We eat dinner together every night, play together in the backyard, go for walks together, etc. We keep a balance between media & non-media fun. My motto is 'Everything in moderation.' I refuse to get rid of technology. I won't ban my kids from it. However, I'm not going to let it take over our lives, either.
When we have family game night, we might play a DVD game or we might choose a board or card game. The only rule is it can't be the same game two times in a row. I think that because we keep a balance between the media & nonmedia fun, the kids learn to do it, too. They see us reading for fun & for information. They see us furthering our education. They see us play each other in board games, card games, trivia games, etc. So, they learn that fun does not have to include technology, reading is fun and useful, education is important & doesn't end with graduation, etc. Modeling can be a very powerful learning/teaching tool. It's often underrated, even though so much of what of children learn about daily life is learned this way. I feel Modeling is especially powerful when paired with explanations of our choices/behaviors. Then, they not only see the behaviors, but also understand the reasons behind them.

elkhollow
06-29-2010, 08:43 PM
Okay my DH has made a liar out of me. He and my kids are in the living room watching Wipeout. LOL! Oh well. It's good to have goals.

MomontheVerge
06-29-2010, 08:51 PM
I think there's a danger in the "one hour of reading, plus your chores gets you an hour of screen time". It is the same as the "veggies first, then ice cream" -- it teaches the kid that screens are better than books and ice cream is better than veggies. Do you reading. Do your chores. Eat your veggies. WHY? Because it's what people do. It keeps the world turning. Screen time and ice cream are just extras.

We only pay for 15 channels of cable (the networks, two PBS channels, and some Spanish language channels) so the kids watch a lot of PBSKids. Of course, they're really too old for most of what they watch, but it's limited to after school and non-school days. They don't watch TV during school hours because it's school time. When they're finished with that, they can do as they please. We tend to watch PBS in the evenings, too -- NOVA, Roadshow, documentaries, etc. We're just not reality-TV people. (As I type, we have World Cup soccer in Spanish on the TV. It's the best thing on. But it's time to bathe children!)

We just started summer vacation, and it's music to my ears to hear that they're bored! That's my cue that they're ready to unschool. Off to the beach, the museum, the library, the home improvement store!

paganmomblog
06-29-2010, 09:17 PM
[QUOTE=MomontheVerge;8513]I think there's a danger in the "one hour of reading, plus your chores gets you an hour of screen time". It is the same as the "veggies first, then ice cream" -- it teaches the kid that screens are better than books and ice cream is better than veggies. Do you reading. Do your chores. Eat your veggies. WHY? Because it's what people do. It keeps the world turning. Screen time and ice cream are just extras.
QUOTE]

I kinda see your point but I disagree. Veggies come first because they are the healthy option and could offset the sugary ice cream. Now for some families I guess it could be "because it's what people do", it's just not in our family. I don't stick to that rule all the time, sometimes we slide back and ice cream is for breakfast.....but we talk about it and we talk about it alot. I think it's also dependent on children. Some kids just don't understand it and it could have a negative effect and you end up with a kid who views ice cream as "better" instead of a treat.

We use media alot in our home but not so much the tv. Computers and phones are our thing. In this day and age kids have to know media, if they don't they will miss out. Especially at the rate that technology changes. I am definetly someone who supports the use of media and the disconnecting. I like to focus more on the responsibility of how to use media and when to walk away from it. So some days my kids spend more time on the computer than others. As long as there is a balance and they learn moderation (and how to freaking add and subtract without a calculator!) I am totally ok with it.

Bellanina
06-29-2010, 09:22 PM
[QUOTE=MomontheVerge;8513] As long as there is a balance and they learn moderation (and how to freaking add and subtract without a calculator!) I am totally ok with it.

I still do a lot of math in my head and follow up with a calculator to check my work (and to see if my head still works the way it should). I need to know that I can still do it and it helps keep my brain alert.

My boys are too eager to learn to use the calculator, they think it's a neat electronic toy. They grumble when I tell them they need to learn on paper BEFORE having the answer spit out at them automagically.

paganmomblog
06-29-2010, 09:27 PM
[QUOTE=paganmomblog;8514]

I still do a lot of math in my head and follow up with a calculator to check my work (and to see if my head still works the way it should). I need to know that I can still do it and it helps keep my brain alert.

My boys are too eager to learn to use the calculator, they think it's a neat electronic toy. They grumble when I tell them they need to learn on paper BEFORE having the answer spit out at them automagically.

Mine are like that. They groan about how in school they used a calculator (in 3rd and 4th grade) and I am like NO! I don't mind them checking it but to understand the mechanics they gotta know how to do it by hand.

Many years ago when I worked for Chick-Fil-A I had to take a test to get a promotion and part of it was a math test. I took this test with 3 other kids all of which I was older by about 3 years. When they got to the math part they had to do it by calculator. And we are talking simple math, not algebra. My boss started giggling when I wrote it out by hand. Even worse, I was the only one who passed the test and those kids never mastered how to count back change. I can't contribute kids like that to society!

Busygoddess
06-29-2010, 09:45 PM
I think there's a danger in the "one hour of reading, plus your chores gets you an hour of screen time". It is the same as the "veggies first, then ice cream" -- it teaches the kid that screens are better than books and ice cream is better than veggies. Do you reading. Do your chores. Eat your veggies. WHY? Because it's what people do. It keeps the world turning. Screen time and ice cream are just extras.

We only pay for 15 channels of cable (the networks, two PBS channels, and some Spanish language channels) so the kids watch a lot of PBSKids. Of course, they're really too old for most of what they watch, but it's limited to after school and non-school days. They don't watch TV during school hours because it's school time. When they're finished with that, they can do as they please. We tend to watch PBS in the evenings, too -- NOVA, Roadshow, documentaries, etc. We're just not reality-TV people. (As I type, we have World Cup soccer in Spanish on the TV. It's the best thing on. But it's time to bathe children!)

We just started summer vacation, and it's music to my ears to hear that they're bored! That's my cue that they're ready to unschool. Off to the beach, the museum, the library, the home improvement store!

I disagree. I think it teaches responsibility first, then free time. When you deal with finances, do you buy CDs, DVDs, eat out, and go to the movies before you pay the bills (or at least set aside the money for the bills)? Probably not. You pay bills first (responsibility) then pay for extras like movies, eating out, etc out of what's left (fun). If you're at work and your boss catches you playing on Facebook or watching TV while on the clock, you're going to get introuble. You go to work, do your job, then watch tv & play online on your own time. Well, a child's job is to do chores and get an education. Therefore, they should do their chores & their school (responsibility) before free time (fun). It's not saying that those extras are better, it's saying that they are less important & therefore come after the more important things.
As for the veggies before ice cream, I see it as much the same. In our house, snacks & dessert are extras. If they don't finish breakfast, they don't get a snack between breafast & lunch. If they don't finish lunch, they don't get a snack between lunch & dinner. If they don't finish dinner, they don't get dessert. I'm trying to teach them to eat healthy, balanced diets and letting them skip their healthy dinner to eat ice cream instead, wouldn't really help teach that.
My kids don't say they're bored. If I hear "I'm bored," I assign chores. There is no reason for them to be bored. They have board games, card games, outdoor toys, sports equipment, neighborhood kids, tons of books, arts & crats supplies, and more to occupy their time. They are both old enough that they should be able to entertain themselves. It's not my job to entertain them all day; I'm not a clown hired to do magic tricks & make balloon animals. I'm their mother & it's my job to teach them to be independant, to be responsible, to understand that sometimes in life we have to do things we don't particularly enjoy, because it's required.
My kids don't see watching tv or playing on the computer as 'better' than reading or other forms of entertainment. Right now, my 12 year old is in the other room reading The Scarlet Letter, for fun (it was not required or even suggested by me, she chose it on her own). I require at least 30 min of quiet reading during school. My 6 year old is regularly asking if he can read for longer. We had to ban books from the kids' bedrooms because they would stay up all night reading instead of sleeping (there was more than one time they were up past 2am reading).

Busygoddess
06-29-2010, 09:50 PM
[QUOTE=Bellanina;8515]

Mine are like that. They groan about how in school they used a calculator (in 3rd and 4th grade) and I am like NO! I don't mind them checking it but to understand the mechanics they gotta know how to do it by hand.

Many years ago when I worked for Chick-Fil-A I had to take a test to get a promotion and part of it was a math test. I took this test with 3 other kids all of which I was older by about 3 years. When they got to the math part they had to do it by calculator. And we are talking simple math, not algebra. My boss started giggling when I wrote it out by hand. Even worse, I was the only one who passed the test and those kids never mastered how to count back change. I can't contribute kids like that to society!

My kids are allowed to use a calulator only after they have proven that they understand the concept & can do it on paper. Even then, calculator use is limited because I feel they need to learn to do basic Math in their heads.

reversemigration
06-30-2010, 09:08 AM
When he was younger, Max was mostly media-free. As he became older, the rule was that he had to spend at least as much time outside as he did watching TV. Now, for the most part, he manages his screen time well - he doesn't watch TV, other than when we have movie night, and he plays his DSi perhaps half an hour or so a day. I don't know that I can take too much credit for this, as it seems to be his personality.

Of course, we're coming off a weeklong bender at the grandparent's house, where they watched probably at least two hours of SpongeBob a day. Ah, vacation.

reversemigration
06-30-2010, 09:12 AM
We had to ban books from the kids' bedrooms because they would stay up all night reading instead of sleeping (there was more than one time they were up past 2am reading).

I've yet to do that, but I do have to go and turn off lights for a second time far too often because of a tucked-away book.

Staying up late is generally its own punishment, as I don't change the schedule the next day just because they're sleepy.

hjdong
06-30-2010, 11:59 AM
I've yet to do that, but I do have to go and turn off lights for a second time far too often because of a tucked-away book.

Staying up late is generally its own punishment, as I don't change the schedule the next day just because they're sleepy.

Usually, a punishment for me, because DS is so cranky. ;)

I see the limitations as a training tool, sort of like training wheels. I hope that he will self-regulate someday, but so far, he has not reached that point.

FWIW, my mom still struggles with this (she's a WoW lover) and is a college professor. She still makes herself "deals" - "Grade these papers, play for x amount of time." It's not that she can't think of other things to do, doesn't have a great imagination; it's just how she chooses to spend her time. That's great, because she's learned the balance. If DS grows up to enjoy computer gaming more than books for his spare time, fine. But, I plan on teaching him balance.

Busygoddess
06-30-2010, 05:31 PM
I've yet to do that, but I do have to go and turn off lights for a second time far too often because of a tucked-away book.

Staying up late is generally its own punishment, as I don't change the schedule the next day just because they're sleepy.

My kids are strange, the later they go to sleep, the earlier they get up. Plus, the kids & I don't need a lot of sleep, but we're bears if we don't get the sleep we need. So, when they stay up late, they're grouchy, cranky, and mean the next day.

Shoe
06-30-2010, 07:25 PM
Okay, friends. What do you all do about your kids and how much "screen time" they log every day? My 12-year-old is driving me nuts right now! Not wanting to play with other kids or his siblings, complaining about the very little we require him to do to contribute to the family (walk the dog, empty half the dishwasher every day), etc., because he wants to be doing XYZ on his iPod, the computer, the TV. Arrrgh. Wondering what has worked for other families. Insight needed, please!

I haven't read any other replies yet (but I will; I always do, lol), but my kids pretty much have unlimited access to TV, video games and IPod...once they've done their reading and whatever chores we've assigned. That said, my daughter spends a lot of time "practicing" singing along with her IPod, and she spends as much time writing and drawing ( by choice) as she does with video games and TV. My son is much more helpful with household chores, so I really give him a break when it comes to TV and video games. It's hard to say "no" to them, when I spend so much time here at SHS and on IMDb...

Fiddler
07-01-2010, 12:43 PM
Update on my kids' situation: I talked with all three of them yesterday and limited them to an hour a day during the summer during the week (an hour and a half on weekends) and said it could be any combination of Wii/TV/computer/iPod but that one hour is the limit. TV or movies that we watch together as a family don't count toward that time, and Jazz has an old iPod that only plays music that he can still use whenever. I swear Jazz (the media addict) is relieved at being given set limits. Hopefully things will improve now.

paganmomblog
07-01-2010, 03:28 PM
relieved[/B] at being given set limits.

Awwww! Sounds like he knows that he is out of control and he just doesn't know how to handle it. Hopefully it helps him to learn how to balance media to regular life.

StartingOver
07-01-2010, 05:19 PM
Update on my kids' situation: I talked with all three of them yesterday and limited them to an hour a day during the summer during the week (an hour and a half on weekends) and said it could be any combination of Wii/TV/computer/iPod but that one hour is the limit. TV or movies that we watch together as a family don't count toward that time, and Jazz has an old iPod that only plays music that he can still use whenever. I swear Jazz (the media addict) is relieved at being given set limits. Hopefully things will improve now.

I hope it works out for your family. I know it sure helped with mine. When the oldest of my older set was 11, her whole attitude changed about that age. She also seemed to welcome the restrictions. She told me years later she felt it was expected that she rebel, and she was glad I didn't make it easy. hehehe She would still rather sit and read given the time, she has a 1 year old.

sb12345
07-03-2010, 04:22 AM
When I was growing up, my life revolved around TV time and Computer time.

I didn't want my babies to be pulled in like I was, so we simply don't have cable. We watch educational shows (little Einsteins, etc) but even with that is it very limited. My two oldest have never asked me for TV time and I plan on keeping it that way.

My mother thinks I am crazy but it seems to be working for us. :)

StartingOver
07-04-2010, 12:39 AM
When I was growing up, my life revolved around TV time and Computer time.

I didn't want my babies to be pulled in like I was, so we simply don't have cable. We watch educational shows (little Einsteins, etc) but even with that is it very limited. My two oldest have never asked me for TV time and I plan on keeping it that way.

My mother thinks I am crazy but it seems to be working for us. :)

I am right with you, and everyone thinks I am nuts. We have tons of movies that the kids watch, on occasion. Also Word World, Super Why, Between the Lions, & etc. Educational only, and no more than about 3 hours a week. On weekends we watch movies. Emma is addicted to Old Yeller at the moment. ;-).

I was way to plugged in as a child, we are getting more and more unplugged as the years go by.

hockeymom
07-04-2010, 06:35 AM
We don't watch much either and it's never been an issue. When DS was little he sometimes watched a show here or there on Noggin or PBS, and we got him educational videos from the library (the only kind he likes). Now he has favorite shows on Discovery, but he doesn't watch every day. We've never put limits on the TV because we just haven't had to yet; same with the wii. We got one around his birthday this year, let him enjoy it all it wanted to for awhile, and then the newness faded as we expected and he only plays with it occasionally now. He's never had any interest in any of the hand held games and I can't imagine him plugged in like that. He literally talks 13 hours a day non stop and wants to be part of the action no matter what we are doing, so the appeal just isn't there for him.

My parents-in-law think we are crazy too--and mean (as though we deny him some right of childhood by not encouraging him to sit in front of cartoons all day like they do). Finally after 7 1/2 years they are starting to see that he just doesn't like to spend his time that way. It was a struggle when we lived near them though.

paganmomblog
07-04-2010, 09:26 AM
My parents-in-law think we are crazy too--and mean (as though we deny him some right of childhood by not encouraging him to sit in front of cartoons all day like they do). Finally after 7 1/2 years they are starting to see that he just doesn't like to spend his time that way. It was a struggle when we lived near them though.

I think that it's a generational thing. My parents grew up with TV being new. As a kid our TV was ALWAYS on. Every weekend my parents locked me out of the house (not joking) and sat in front of it watching shows and movies. We rarely ate dinner around a table but around the TV. Even now when we see them they don't do anything after work. It's just sitting in front of the TV. I was the kid who read all the time and it seemed to bother them or something, like I wasn't normal. Makes me sad for them, like they have really missed out or something.

And I love your edited reason lol!

SherryZoned
07-04-2010, 12:24 PM
I would like to be less plugged in but am finding it hard to do right. Between rain, the bugs etc it is hard for us to go outside and when we do we live in the suburban pit. I think I need to move. I just have to figure out when and how. We are not thriving here very well.

BLECH!

Other then that I do love TV.. I am a trash tv watcher specially at night when the kids are in bed. That is my drug of choice for relaxing lol

elkhollow
07-04-2010, 01:36 PM
We had a TV growing up but we didn't have cable. We could only get the three national networks. With so few choices we just didn't watch much, compared with kids today. I suppose I should have been an absolute TV zombie when I went to college and saw all those channels but for some reason I wasn't. We were very lucky to have a house in the country when we were kids. Although I remember watching Gilligan's Island and the Andy Griffith show, I also remember all those hours outside, playing by the creek, looking for tadpoles, climbing trees, and just being a kid.We didn't have any neighbors. We lived on 200 acres and my brother and I were somewhere out on it most of the time. My Dad spent years hacking trails for us to walk through the woods. I realize now how lucky we were and how I took it for granted. Now we live in the suburbs and my kids are suburbunites. My dd is afraid of bugs and hates to go outside in the summer, even into our little backyard, because God forbid she should see an ant. She won't even go in the pool if one bug is floating in it. I laugh and tell her about swimming in the watering hole and hoping I didn't land on a snake, and about the time I wasn't careful enough and was chased off a log by one angry water moccasin . She looks at me as if she's not sure if I'm making it up. I wish my kids had that kind of upbringing but it's almost too late now. Even if we did live out in the country I think the two of them would only stare at it out the windows.

ginnyjf
07-04-2010, 01:39 PM
It was good to read your reply, because this is one of those topics that immediately gets the guilt machine churning. You can think me as misguided and lazy and slovenly as you like, but I will honestly admit we don't limit Zack's screen time at all. We use a wipe-off To-Do list and we list his responsibilities for the day (piano practice, taking care of the cats, working on math and handwriting, 30 minutes of exercise, Cub Scout belt loop requirements, straightening his room and computer desk, and personal hygiene necessities). It's up to him when he does his responsibilities, but he understands he must complete everything on his list daily. Sometimes he will take a few hours and knock off everything on the list and then the rest of his time is his to spend as he sees fit. Some days he will alternate his free time and his responsibilities. I don't have anyone limiting my computer/iPod/TV time so I don't like to do it to him as long as he's finishing everything he needs to. Having said that, we do take away screen time for any infractions and it's a GREAT motivator. :) Zack tends to be a self-regulator, too, so after an initial period of near-constant use when they were new, he rarely uses his Wii or DSi and never watches TV unless he's not feeling well. He disappears sometimes for hours to read a book. His computer is another matter altogether, but we live in a technological age and he's developing necessary skills...that's what I tell myself, anyway. I figure it's summer and he's a kid and he won't have many more years where he can just relax and do as he pleases. Old-fashioned idea, I know, and you may now commence to poke as many holes in my system and theories as you please, but it works for our family. :)