Thursday, August 10, 2006

Triumph Over the TV!!!! (at least for now)

This is day three of my experiment. So far, so good! I've made a new program for TV watching around here. As is far too common, I found that my children were wasting entirely too much time in front of the TV. It was completely, and woefully out of control. This is what I did. I made stickers with all of their favorite programs and computer games on them. Some, which were more educational, had a green border around them. The others, which were pure entertainment, had a red border around them. I printed out a schedule of when each show was on, and which shows were which color. (Fortunately, we don't have anything but standard TV, no satellite, cable or anything. I've always felt that I had enough TV on my hands without all of that. So, most all that my children watch is PBS, but even with just that, it can get really out of hand). I made each child a chart. They are allotted 2 red shows (or 2 half hours), and four greens per day Mon.-Thur. Friday and Saturdays, they can have 4 half hours of reds and 4 of green. On Sundays, we only watch "Sunday movies" anyway, so that one isn't so hard to manage. This still might be too much TV, but its a vast improvement. And actually 2/3 of what they are watching M-T is educational. They still get to watch TV, but now I'm not constantly telling them to turn the thing off. They are figuring out how to regulate it themselves. Instead of turning it on first thing in the morning and just mindlessly watching whatever happens to be on, they are saying "Do I really want to waste a 'red show' on this?" I've seen the TV go on, and then straight off again. Its great! Ross did that this morning, then went and turned on a Reader Rabbit game. (Reader Rabbit, being all reading and math exercises, is free). Right now, they are in their room playing with legos. (Something, till now, completely undiscovered).

You know its funny, I've always thought that if the TV were to suddenly go away, that they would drive me crazy with being underfoot, and noisy, and in my face. But it really hasn't been that way. They've done more of playing outside, or in their room. The mess factor really hasn't changed either. They were just as messy when they were watching TV half of the day. All in all, I'm very happy with this program! Now its just a matter of making it stick, and knowing when to bend the rules (if a sitter comes over) and when not to. So far its been great!

1 comment:

amy said...

Yippee! I've been wondering how it was going over. I'm glad it's working! Zach's big thing now is just wanting to watch one movie after another... he's pretty much forgotten about his tv shows. Now I just have to curb the movie input.