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Mothering › Groups › April 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › OT: Video games/ screen time

OT: Video games/ screen time

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

DH and I are mostly screen-free with our kids. We have a small tv but only for movies. We don't even have cable or satellite, so nothing comes in on it. We have a netflix subscription, but the only thing usually watch is documentaries. This is all for religious reasons (mostly).

 

This Christmas we went ahead and got the kids Leappads, which are kind of like tablets for kids. I thought they might be good for educational purposes and that I might even be able to use them as a fun supplement to homeschooling. We had the intention of limiting the time they are allowed to use them, just like we limit the time they are allowed to watch movies. 

 

But now they have been sick for 10 days. Usually when they are sick I let them lay on the couch and watch movies, and then when they get better we put the movies away. It's been 10 days and they have been watching A LOT of movies and playing with the LeapPads. I'm starting to feel funny about it. We aren't video game people, and it bothers me a bit to see them staring at those screens, totally deaf to the world. And while the games do have educational aspects, I'm not so sure they are actually teaching anything.... 

 

I know it's only temporary and all the "media" will be put away soon, but I have a feeling we are going to have to go through detox! This morning they started asking for the Leappads right away. I told them no and they complained. Their behavior is noticeably changed when they have been watching a lot of videos and stuff- and not changed for the better.

 

How do you handle tv/ video game time? Are you screen free totally? What do you do with the kids when they are sick? What do you do with them when YOU aren't feeling good and need a break but don't have anyone to help you?

post #2 of 11

As a first time mom I cant offer any advice. But I look forward to the discussion as we hope to limit screen time too.

post #3 of 11

It's really hard, isn't it? My daughter goes to a Waldorf school, and their policy is "no media on school days/nights." We have used this to our advantage! However, on Fridays after school, the FIRST thing my daughter mentions is going home to watch tv! It's quite an addiction. I limit her to 2-3 shows on Netflix or a movie on Fridays and Saturdays. I'm strongly considering just having no t.v. for a while, but that does require a commitment from me to find other things for us to do. I'm tired, pregnant, and enjoy snuggling with her to watch a movie. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, exactly, but I wanted to say I understand. When she's sick, she may watch tv, but she's rarely sick (knock on wood!) If I was sick and my husband was at work/sleeping, I'd probably turn the tv on then, too. Sometimes we do have to do what works, even if we might regret it a bit later. I'm really trying not to worry too much, and instead provide other opportunities for her to be busy/entertained. Her birthday is tomorrow and we bought her a dollhouse, so I have very high hopes of that becoming a substitute for tv. My husband thinks I'm ridiculous, but don't want her to have a Leapster or any battery operated toys, if only for the reason that I find them annoying. I try to find balance, but it's hard. We'll get there someday :-)

post #4 of 11

We are so much like your family!  Normally we aren't big on screen time of any sort.  But it seems like once something happens and allowing them time outweighs the alternative, it seems like it gets out of hand so quickly.  I don't notice quite a lot in the behavior department, mostly just them not wanting to put things down/turn things off or all of a sudden having "difficultly" (*ahem*) sharing.  But it's still irritating and the source is obvious.

 

I also struggle with being home by myself with the children over 75% of the time with DH's job (his long, several day shifts, and then being on call otherwise) and feeling like I'd rather have them watching a movie or something than running rampant...like if I need a nap on the couch, or a shower (def. in the shower so I know they're more likely to stay in one place), stuff like that.  

 

So anyway, no advice....I can just totally relate!!

post #5 of 11

We have a tv screen, but just for movies and Netflix. My 6 year old likes to use the laptop for a few educational games, but she only uses it for a few hours a week. My 4 year old likes a couple tv shows like Super Why and Dinosaur Train so she gets to watch a little of that while I make phone calls for work. When I don't feel good the house just gets really messy. They have a playroom full of toys and games and they usually play really well in there. We live in the southwest so they are in the backyard a lot too. Even now in January it's dry and 52F today. I've been fortunate and my girls really prefer to be active, especially the 6 year old. She will ask for a movie, but wander off to do something else about 10 minutes into it. 

post #6 of 11

For us as first time parents we have (bad) habits in place. We dont have an environment that already limits screen time. But I hope to start by elminiating the TV news we watch in the mornings and evenings. And to also lessen the amont of meals we eat in front of the TV. As for other screens - DH is very tech savy and reads lots of tech blogs etc. - so I know that a computer will be a part of this childs life eventually, but as I imagine it now it will only be for hw. And that is many years off!

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

We didn't start out limiting screen time. We used to watch tv like most other families, and our kids (well... the first two) watched Nickolodeon and PBS and all that. We thought we were doing good because we would only allow certain programs... but there was almost always something "acceptable" on, so the tv was on literally all day long. When we decided to go screen free, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. After a couple days they didn't even notice anymore. I guess that should be encouraging to me since I know I can pull the plug at any time and they will get over it.

 

I guess like anything else, I have to recognize that this is temporary and will be okay. I'm sure when I have the baby we will have movies playing a lot again for awhile and it's not going to do irreparable damage to them :) I just wish I could be one those creative parents that always has something hands on for the kids do. Maybe one day!

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

We didn't start out limiting screen time. We used to watch tv like most other families, and our kids (well... the first two) watched Nickolodeon and PBS and all that. We thought we were doing good because we would only allow certain programs... but there was almost always something "acceptable" on, so the tv was on literally all day long. When we decided to go screen free, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. After a couple days they didn't even notice anymore. I guess that should be encouraging to me since I know I can pull the plug at any time and they will get over it.

 

I guess like anything else, I have to recognize that this is temporary and will be okay. I'm sure when I have the baby we will have movies playing a lot again for awhile and it's not going to do irreparable damage to them :) I just wish I could be one those creative parents that always has something hands on for the kids do. Maybe one day!

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

We didn't start out limiting screen time. We used to watch tv like most other families, and our kids (well... the first two) watched Nickolodeon and PBS and all that. We thought we were doing good because we would only allow certain programs... but there was almost always something "acceptable" on, so the tv was on literally all day long. When we decided to go screen free, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. After a couple days they didn't even notice anymore. I guess that should be encouraging to me since I know I can pull the plug at any time and they will get over it.

 

I guess like anything else, I have to recognize that this is temporary and will be okay. I'm sure when I have the baby we will have movies playing a lot again for awhile and it's not going to do irreparable damage to them :) I just wish I could be one those creative parents that always has something hands on for the kids do. Maybe one day!

post #10 of 11

I don't like screen time. I'm comfortable with a little more but I have a husband who'd addicted and we have one family/livingroom (which is how we want it).  I've had to set limits and when things get out of hand,  I schedule a no TV month...for everyone in the house.  After the first one, dh commented about how much more he got done when he didn't watch TV and the kids didn't start watching it right away either.

 

Overtime (a lot because of dh) things went back and we are due for another one really soon.

post #11 of 11
We are not screen free but everything is on a schedule for dd. It seems like it doesn't matter how much or little it is as long as its consistent. She gets one movie a week on Friday morning and twenty minutes of computer time on Saturdays that she plays on a paint program. I also let her listen to two audio stories every morning (sparkle stories) except on Friday when she gets one. She's only three though so it's easy to regulate her. When she was sick recently I let her lay on the
couch listening to unlimited stories though I am likely to do that with movies too if it works.

When we get off the routine she gets whiny so its a sign to me to get back on a routine I can stick to whether its cutting back or adding more media days. I'm tentatively planning to do a half hour show every morming once the baby arrives.
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