Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer and the television

So we are nearing the end of the third week of summer vacation at our house. The first two were rather chaotic, and we spent more time away from home than at home. But I did notice a disturbing trend the days we were at home--the tv. It was on way too much. I decided that I wanted to change our television viewing habits before summer really got under way. So here is our tv viewing chart.

Tyler and I whipped this up last Monday, and so far this week it has been working great. It's just a sheet of 12x12 patterned paper attached to a piece of cork board. I choose several different activities Tyler could do (and being the nerd that I am, I had to make sure each activity was written as a single verb) to earn his tv time. When he reads, or does his chores, he gets to move a thumb tack over. When he watches a half hour of tv, the thumb tack goes back. I have discovered he is funny, and so far doesn't really like to "spend" his tv time. Sounds good to me!

I do have to give props to my SIL who gave me the idea. She does something similar each summer with her kids. They earn "sticks" that they can redeem with her for screen time. I don't know her time limits, but they can earn sticks for physical activity, reading, or developing a talent. Then they can cash in as many sticks as they want at a time. In her words, if they want to save up enough sticks all week to spend 5 hours on Friday playing video games, ok.

Anyone else have any great tricks for controlling tv time in your home?


michelle said...

We spend almost of our time swimming at the pool. No, fighting and No, for me. Each of my kids have to read first before anything and do their chores.

Tresa Fowler said...

About five years we bought a little contraption online called 'TV Monitor' (or something like that). Each child has their own code to punch in before the TV will turn on. We assign a set amount of TV each week to each child and they can choose when and how to use it - all in one day, on video games, etc. When the time is gone, the TV won't turn on. I love not having to be the TV police anymore! If their time is gone, it is from their decisions and not mine. It has been great!

Gold Fort said...

Well, I guess I'm so not on the ball with TV watching, computer gaming and video games. I'VE been really busy and frankly the TV has kept them out of my hair while I plan and prep for various things that I'm involved in. I know--so horrible. But, I PROMISE to get on the ball once Cub Scout Camp is over next week.

Kelsey said...

I think what you did is great! I have got to get it under control for me! Play dates is what works around here! Are you up for one next week?

Alisha said...

What a great idea! I try to limit the time each day(less than 45 min.). But let's be serious, the past few weeks they've watched WAY TOO much t.v. Oh well. I hope once I'm up again it's better!