Thursday, July 7, 2011

TV Time

My 3 year old is increasingly interested in watching more TV all the time! Sometimes when I tell him it's time to turn the TV off and go play he throws a fit and putting him in time out only works part of the time. He is only allowed to watch 3 PBS cartoons or 1 movie a day.  I try really hard to make sure he doesn't spend too much time in front of the TV as I don't feel it is a very productive thing to do, but sometimes I need that time to get things done that he can't help me with (like a shower!).  So, what are the rules regarding TV time in  your house? What are your kids allowed to watch and how to you stem the fits when you tell them it's time to turn the TV off?

- Megan -


Alyssa Harper said...

Oh heavens. My boy watches WAY too much TV since I started nursing, and he still expects me to entertain him while baby is latched on. Ha. Yeah right. PBS is the only thing that gets me some peace and quiet while I feed my little girl. So, yeah. He's almost got the drill down. When I nurse, Curious George gets put on for 15 minutes. Other than that, he doesn't get to watch anything besides his learning DVD's, like the Letter or Word Factory. My general rules no more than an hour and a half of television a day (thank heavens for PBS) and no TV on Sunday.

When the TV has to be turned off, I usually give him warnings. 5 min. 2 min. 1 min. Then OFF. Just he can kind of mentally prepare for it. I mean, I'd get bugged too if my husband just randomly turned off the television if I was watching something. It also helps to have a super fun transition activity right after the TV turns off, something I know he'll love to do, like making cookies, going outside for a walk, playing with balls, etc. Gets his mind off of TV.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I'm with Alyssa - only 1 1/2 hours of TV per day. Most times I shoot for 1 hour, but that way if the kids pick a movie they can get through it.

On Monday/Wednesday/Friday my son gets to pick the show. On Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday my daughter picks. On Sunday we only watch Jesus movies (living scriptures) and usually it's only one. We try to keep the TV off on Sundays as well.

We usually have a set time of day for TV and the kids know this. They also know that when their show is over TV time is over. We watch DVD's from the library like Word World, Sid the Science Kid, or Wiggles. We don't have TV, but we do have some recorded PBS cartoons so those are also an option. We also have a lot of Magic School Bus. I only let them watch 1 (MAYBE 2) movies per week. Other than that, they have to pick a more educational cartoon.

Did my kids used to throw fits when TV time was over? Heaven's yes! My advice is just to stick to your guns and eventually he'll get the idea that when TV time is over, it's over. Try to let him finish his PBS cartoon so he doesn't have to turn it off in the middle, but when it's over he's done. He'll be fine! :)

This is all in the BEST Of circumstances. When one of the kids is super sick we throw the rules out the window and watch more TV, and even TV on Sunday if kids are really sick. Also, the rules get bent/broken/torn APART when mom is ill. When I have morning sickness the kids watch more TV and while I was super sick with my invisible disease the kids watched TV way too much. In times like these I think you just give yourself a break and realize that sometimes things happen and letting your kid watch too much TV sometimes is OKAY.

Laura said...

I was pretty much going to say exactly what Alyssa said. I'm not opposed to some tv (and it's getting to be more the more pregnant and tired I get...). I stick to PBS as well. The shows are decent, and I don't have to worry about trashy commercials like you do with evening programming. PBS also stops the preschooler shows after a couple hours, so even if I'm way out of it and my girls are watching all morning, there is a natural time to turn it off when the cartoons end.

I also give my kids warnings as to when the tv will be off. I try to be considerate of them and let them finish whatever story or show they are currently watching--"As soon as this is over, we're turning off the tv." It is quite helpful to have something to move right into when it goes off so they are distracted, like snack at the table or going outside.

My girls know the routine--we watch while Mom is on the computer (that's my blog time :) ) and then we can watch again while Mom makes dinner. Other than that, find something else to do. Granted, it doesn't always go perfectly and we have our share of fits, but that's my general rule of thumb.