Managing Screen Time

We are almost halfway through the Summer and I find myself needing to get back on track with the kids. Oliver is now almost seven months old and the survival mode I was in when he was two months old is no longer necessary. Sitting in front of the TV for so long each day is certainly not necessary. Here is my new plan.

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Each morning the girls get their TV ticket and can cash it in whenever they like before supper. It entitles each of them to one episode on Netflix usually lasting 20 minutes. Once they’ve cashed in their tickets, they are gone for the day and the television stays off. If they like they can combine their tickets to watch something longer like Barney or the Meerkats documentary (I know, right?)  I also made a Family Movie ticket thinking that once a week when Ben is off we can choose a movie to watch together with a treat.

I’m just done listening to them whine all day long about when they can watch TV. This way it puts the onus on them to decide when they will use their tickets and hopefully teach them a little responsibility in the process. I’m also hoping it will teach them to savor things a little and not rush to do things all by 8:30 am!  The other bonus of this is that it keeps me accountable for the amount of screen time I have as well. When they watch cartoons it’s easy for me to be on the laptop and let them carry on with another show if I am not done what I am doing. Now I will have to just shut the computer and get on with the day. Genius.

What are some ways you manage the screen times in your home? or do you at all? Ain’t no shame, mama.. Let’s hear it!

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8 thoughts on “Managing Screen Time

  1. Love this idea! We too have a (sort of) new baby in the house and have been struggling to make the transition from survival mode to realistic expectations for life mode. My sis-in-law uses a great system called Screen Beans. Every time my nephew does a small chore or does something kind for his sister, helps without being asked, etc.he gets a dry kidney bean, worth 5 minutes of screen time. He can cash them in whenever he wants, up to 1 hour a day. Time management, positive reinforcement, work ethic, responsibility, I could go on. Once I figure out what we’re going to do to manage our own screen time I will let you know! I may just steal one of these two great ideas. Why re-invent the wheel? 🙂

    1. I love the idea of earning your minutes of screen time but I also don’t want our kids doing kind things or helpful things with the thought that it is for their benefit to have what they want. Does that make sense? Either way you go with I think you will see big results. It has been awesome here so far! No more whining at all.

  2. Great idea! When my kids were little, one thing we tried was tearing out the TV guide for the day and letting them highlight what they wanted to watch within a certain time limit. Then if they started to whine, I could just point them towards the TV guide and they could see when their show was on. Fast forward to the teenage years and I am lucky if I see their faces not attached to a screen of some sort. We still keep a few rules, like no screens at mealtime.

  3. We felt the same way Katie, always tired of saying “no”. I absolutely hated that the first thing Isabelle asked us in the morning was a request to watch TV. I understood why, as all our furniture was positioned towards watching TV and so when it was off she was staring at a big black box that she knew was full of exciting shows with a click of a button. About 6 months ago we made the radical decision to remove the TV from the main living space and rearranged our furniture. It was truly magical! It only took a day before out off sight out of mind set in. It honestly has changed our lives. Days and days will go by without it even being turned on and when it does she has a greater appreciation for it and I don’t feel guilty anymore letting her watch as its so seldom. We ended up placing it in our bedroom which isn’t something I ever wanted to do, but I rarely watch it either as I’m always out in our main living space and thus no longer “just put it on” for a minute while tidying or doing dishes at the end of the day and end up getting sucked into a meaningless show. It was been transformative for our household!

    1. It’s amazing how quickly they find other things to do when TV isn’t an option. We didn’t have a TV when we moved into this house for probably a year and it was fine but the kids did watch on the laptop. Our bedrooms are all downstairs in this house so we need to keep it in the living room to help keep some quiet while Oliver naps but otherwise I would just get rid of it! Good for you guys 🙂

  4. This is brilliant!!! Great idea! We’ve giving in to TV too much! I might just start this idea with Ben. I often will just switch it to the music channel. I love this little idea so much!

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