Saturday, January 23, 2010
Positive Discipline Tool Card - Limit Screen Time
Screen time is very addictive and interferes with personal relationships.
1) For young children, be careful about using the T.V. as a babysitter.
2) Avoid allowing children to have computers in their rooms.
3) Make agreements with children about how much TV, video games, texting and internet time is reasonable.
4) Brainstorm fun alternative activities, that bring family members together.
Did you hear that??? That was me having a PANIC ATTACK after reading this tool card!!!
It's not that I disagree with the concept of this tool card. On the contrary, I wholeheartedly agree that limiting screen time for my children would be better for their mental and physical health. But it's MY mental and physical health that I'm concerned about!
Let me explain the current situation in our house. When my children are not doing their homework or practicing their instruments, they are in front of a screen. Either a T.V. screen, a computer screen, a Wii video game screen or an iPod touch screen. Even when we leave the house, they get in the car and watch a DVD on the drop-down screen.
I'm not proud of this fact. But you have to understand that when my kids aren't staring at a screen, they are staring at each other...and arguing, bugging each other, and yelling "DAAAAAAAD!!!" Then I have to come referee the current squabble. So in the interest of peace and quiet, I not only allow my kids to have their screen time...I encourage it.
To add to the difficulty of the situation, my job requires that I spend a fair amount of time in front of my computer screen. So it's hard for me to set a good example for my children. Can you see why I had a panic attack when I read this tool card?
But since I believe in the concept of limiting screen time and since I am committed to improving my parenting skills each week, I am going to make every effort to implement the concepts of this tool card. But I am going to need help. If anyone has ideas about how to make this a little less traumatic, please post your comments.
When we had our family meeting about limiting screen time. My kids decided that during the school week one hour of T.V. each day should be enough. We also agreed that there will be no T.V. until homework is done and music practice is complete. It was also agreed that 1/2 hour of recreational computer time would be enough each day. If the kids need the computer for homework, that doesn't count. And 1/2 hour of video game time.
So if you add it all up, that would be 2 hours of screen time each day during the school week. We are going to leave the weekends open for now because I am trying to take baby steps...and football season isn't over yet. :-)
My biggest concern is how I will monitor the children's screen time. To start out I will have to just use the honor system because I don't have time to run around with a stop watch. I'm sure that the kids will help by tattling on each other if someone watches too much T.V. Especially if that child is waiting for their turn on the T.V. And I may just have to take away the hand held devices if they become a problem.
Good Heavens!!! I'm so stressed out after writing this post, I'm going to have to go relax and watch T.V. ;-)