TV, X-Box, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
TV, X-Box, etc.
6
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 12:31pm
I'm curious as to how other moms structure the amount of TV, video, computer, etc. time their children get during the week, if any. I have three children - two ds (9&11) and one dd (6-1/2).

My oldest son especially is constantly on X-Box. Every time he misbehaves, I threaten to take the X-Box away -- but I don't know what seems reasonable and then the other two kids complain that they don't deserve to lose it. I've taken away the controllers for days...but then a playdate comes over...my ds begs to use it...I cave in and then we're back to square one.

Yesterday a note came home from his fifth grade teacher saying that he's neglected to hand in four homework assignments on time. He has ADD and learning disibilities and I feel like he should have a little down time when he comes home from school, so we don't make him do his homework right away. I'll usually let him watch TV against my better judgement. All three kids do a lot after school, but before we leave for the activity (ballet, tae kwon do, soccer practice, etc.) and once we get home, they run down to the basement to put the TV or X-Box on. Even after I've given the lecture about getting the homework done first.

My younger two kids will turn off the TV/video when I ask. My oldest son gives me a hard time and eventually I have to go down and turn it off myself. I'm at my wits-end!! Any suggestions?

Sharon

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: zigzager
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 4:04pm

Welcome, Sharon! This is something most of us struggle with at one time or another. I can tell you what works in our house.


I was concerned we'd have your exact problem when we got Sam and Rachel (now 11yo twins) GameCube for their 10th b'day. We have a strict rule - No video games Mon-Thurs. period. Doesn't matter how much homework, no homework, homework done. This way, they won't be rushing through the homework to get to the GameCube; it's not even a factor. On Sunday, they can't play until their homework for Monday is done.


As far as TV after school goes, I agree that all kids need a break when they walk in the door. My kids walk in around 3. They can watch TV until 3:30, but then it's homework time. Mostly, they can sit and get their homework done within a half hour or so. We negotiate whether they have another break before finishing, or whether they can finish after dinner. But, they've been very responsible, so they've not only earned the "right" to negotiate, they've proved it's a skill they are developing. For example, "Mom, I finished my math and vocabulary. I just need to study my spelling words. Can I do that after I play outside for a while?" They always ASK if it's OK to delay completing the homework until later, so that we can talk about whatever else is going on that afternoon and evening in terms of music lessons, sports, etc. I feel this helps them take over the time management responsibility, which is an important skill to learn.


I used to have Sam and Rachel each pick one half hour show per day to watch, or that I would tape for them to watch at our convenience so we're not driven by the TV schedule. That gave them 1 hr. of TV a day after school, and limited the time just vegging in front of whatever is on. I've relaxed that rule the past couple of years, and haven't had a strong reason to reintroduce it, but it may be another idea for you to get things under control.


I'm glad you jumped in with this question, and hope we can help. Please let us know how you are doing. Hope to see you here often.

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2003
In reply to: zigzager
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 4:29pm

Hi, I have 3 boys, 11, 8 and 6.

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
In reply to: zigzager
Fri, 10-24-2003 - 8:42pm

Hi Sharon, glad to "see" you here.

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
In reply to: zigzager
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 6:28pm
We have a 1.5 hour rule for ds11; that's 1.5 hours of anything per day, total (tv, videogames, game boy, computer games), and to be honest, it's super rare that he gets close. We don't watch much tv, nor does ds, and lately he's been very busy with school and Boy Scouts so that it's even less of an issue. Even in the summer, it's not a problem. About the only time he might get close is when he gets a brand new game, but with the cost of those things, that's not that often! (Plus, the kids are still into Magic cards and spend playdates doing that as well as rollerblading and exploring outside)

Sue

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: zigzager
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 6:46am

Sounds like you're lecturing and threatening but not following through ... not being critical, just an observation (and BTW I do the same sometimes, we all do.)

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: zigzager
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 12:52pm
Thanks for all the responses to my posting!

It's so hard to change old habits - especially when I haven't been particularly consisent. But everyone offered good advice and I just think I need to come up with a plan to enact and get the kids on the same page.

I'll let everyone know what happens!

Thanks again,

Sharon