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#31 of 41 Old 01-26-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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There's a sticky of some sort where they list a TON  of abbrev. that you can learn. It's one of the first sections on the main board.

 

I hate the commercials too. Even some stations that only have public service announcements and commercials for other shows, will sometimes show a mini infomercial about "your baby can read" which drives me nuts!!!! We just record everything to either FF past commercials or cut them out later as well as buying DVD sets.


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#32 of 41 Old 01-26-2011, 06:09 PM
 
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We just stopped turning it on, and eventually, the kids stopped asking.  Rarely, each child will get to pick an "On Demand" show (they like old Flintstones reruns!!!), but that's it.  DH and I don't watch TV anymore either, but DH likes NFL football.  In fact, if it weren't for DH's football, and occasional things like the Olympics which we LOVE, I'd cancel the cable altogether.  I also pretty much stopped "entertaining them" with projects and crafts and things like that.  If they want to play a game, I play with them.  DD2 often drags out puzzles for us to do together.  I had all the stamping stuff out today so I could make a card and pretty soon everyone was stamping.  Everyone is welcome to help me cook or clean and they often do.  Mostly, they just play or read or draw.  It's really quite amazing what they come up with when left to their own devices!


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#33 of 41 Old 01-27-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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With DH at work, I can't tell you much about the system we use, but it's called MythTV, open source DVR (if you google MythTV, you'll find it).  We have a dedicated computer set up for this purpose, and it's been a bit of a headache for my husband, but he's not a programmer, "just" an engineer..  we really like it though, and despite its sometimes-user-unfriendly-ness, I wouldn't stop using it.  if you are a programmer (or know one!), I'm sure it's a breeze.  Do have to say, 9-yr-old DD figured out how to use it pretty quick ;)


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#34 of 41 Old 01-28-2011, 02:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mombear View Post

With DH at work, I can't tell you much about the system we use, but it's called MythTV, open source DVR (if you google MythTV, you'll find it).  We have a dedicated computer set up for this purpose, and it's been a bit of a headache for my husband, but he's not a programmer, "just" an engineer..  we really like it though, and despite its sometimes-user-unfriendly-ness, I wouldn't stop using it.  if you are a programmer (or know one!), I'm sure it's a breeze.  Do have to say, 9-yr-old DD figured out how to use it pretty quick ;)


Thank you!  I am a former programmer and my dh is a university professor of computer science, so between the two of us, I'm sure we can figure it out.  If not us, he has a few PhD students that he supervises/do a lot of coding that I'm sure would know something about this.  We had just never heard of it because we're not that much into TV.  He is, however, very much into Linux, so I can see this being a fun project for him when he's not working on his own research.  Thanks again!

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#35 of 41 Old 01-28-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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We have very little TV watching in our house. I've actually loosened up on it lately. My older kids (7 and 5; no TV allowed for 2 and younger because of brain development studies) were watching one movie every other week or so, plus an occasional family movie night (we don't have cable or dish or anything--just DVD and VHS). Recently, I decided to let them watch a little more and see what happened. My kids get their whole week's worth of homework on Monday (but it's easy and they can do it all in one sitting) and as soon as it's all done, they can watch a little TV every day for the rest of the week. This was mostly to alleviate the pressure on me to remember to have them do their homework and put that responsibility more on them. The outcome? The homework is getting done, but behavioral problems are creeping up: laziness, whining, fighting, refusing to do chores, etc.. They've been grounded from TV for the last two weeks because they were so engrossed in their movie one morning that their 2 yo little sister got into the fridge and dropped and broke ALL 18 eggs from the carton one by one on the floor, and then she took the Ranch dressing and poured it on the carpet AND on one of the TV-watcher's heads (yes, you can laugh--I'm just grateful we have a dog)! No parents were notified (we were sleeping in--I know, not the best use of the TV, but still... nobody's perfect) and no intervention was taken because the TV was just too compelling. Interesting to note that even though they were only on this new TV-when-your-homework-is-done system for about 3 weeks when they lost their privilege, they have been hounding me daily to see if I'll forget or if it's time to get to watch again. How quickly it becomes an addiction or compulsion! I prefer my nearly TV-free household, but I'll let this go a while longer and see what else happens.

 

Morgan

 

P.S. I realize that it isn't the children's responsibility to keep the 2 yo out of trouble, but EIGHTEEN EGGS dropped on the floor and Ranch on your HEAD!? C'mon. Do SOMETHING! They lost their privilege because they were being vidiots; not because they weren't "watching" their sister.

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#36 of 41 Old 01-28-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
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We almost literally can't watch "regular" TV anymore, commercials and just watching whatever happens to be on is so annoying.  Again, not a low-cost option (maybe a geek mom or dad out there can find the linux-based system my husband set up?), but it's been such a great thing for our family.  I think without it, we'd be TV-free.  (DH and I do love our netflix, though!)


Can you give some more information about this linux-based system?  Thanks!


There are several products you can buy or set up on your computers.  Dh and I have dabbled in several of them over the years, finally choosing Windows Media Center for our computer.  I want to say it was free or at least very cheap, lol.  I love it because we can record tv easily and also play Netflix watch it now off of it.  Dh also put a bunch of our kid movies on that we can watch (but that required several external hard drives to hold.)

 

 

ETA: We hated MythTV but that was several years ago when we tried it and my programmer husband had a hard time with it.  Hopefully they've worked all the bugs out (it's been like 4 years since we tried it.)


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#37 of 41 Old 01-28-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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In terms of cost, the Hulu/Netflix/iTunes solution has turned out to be the cheapest thing we've tried. Even a basic cable bill just keeps on coming, and one continues to want other content i.e. movies... so we stream Netflix and Hulu, buy kid movies and rent Doctor Who on iTunes, and anything we want that isn't available that way we queue up to get as Netflix DVDs. 

 

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#38 of 41 Old 01-28-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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I hate the idea of TV tokens, for the same reasons I hate the idea of scheduled snacks:

 

1. If it's fundamentally unhealthy healthy to consume without strict controls, I don't like to make it available as a regular daily thing.

 

2. If it's something my kids will need to self-regulate in adulthood with possible serious consequences if they don't, then I like to start that training as early as possible.

 

So we have apples and bananas in a basket for snacks whenever, and DVDs and and supervised Netflix and YouTube and computer games for screen time whenever.

 

If I felt strongly that screen time was bad for my kids, I would probably have no TVs at all in the house. But I happen to think it's a GOOD in moderation, and so cultivating a healthy appetite for visual media in one of the life skills we are teaching in this house. There are times when I cut them off and redirect to another activity, but it happens less often than you'd think, PARTICULARLY SINCE WE GOT RID OF CABLE TV. Nick Jr. is adorable and I like the messages in most of the shows, but it's designed to keep your kid watching. Ditto PBS Kids. One show flows seamlessly into another. I don't think they are ready for that aspect of media yet - most of the adults I know can't handle it! 

 


Sorry, I guess I missed this comment long ago...

I totally get where you're coming from, however the token thing can be as strict as you're thinking of it or can be used to an advantage. I know it wouldn't work for every child, and may end up taking the wrong turn you're thinking. It works for us though, for exactly the reasons you mentioned above. He does self regulate most of the time. Honestly, we probably don't even need to do tokens with DS, but now it's more like a game to him that he enjoys (putting a token in a bank, counting money, counting tokens & doing the math, estimating how many shows he can watch with a given amount of tokens) - really pretty relaxed.


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#39 of 41 Old 01-31-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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We started limiting TV to see if it would help with my son's behavioral issues; the kids only ever watched PBS Kids, but (being ASD) I wondered if maybe it was a sensory issue for him. We have a "choice board" set up in the kitchen with one side of the board having a picture of each of their favorite PBS shows, and the other side of the board are two columns: one for TV shows and one for the start times. Each morning the kids decide together on 4 shows, then move the pictures to the other side of the board and I help them fill in the start time. They also have opportunities to earn an extra show, as well as have shows taken away.    


I like the choice board idea, but for other activities. I think I should make some sort of visual that offers my child things to do that he can pick (in my preference, these would be non-TV choices). Personally I feel like a choice board with pictures of favorite TV shows encourages TV watching and reminds children about TV.


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#40 of 41 Old 02-01-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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I think at the most basic instinct, kids want to play. Sometimes when they turn to TV it's because they feel lonely or are having a hard time finding other options. DS clearly will ask for TV when DH and I are busy and can't play with him / talk to him. I love the idea of a choice chart. I don't think you have to put TV on there at all, really. Just having the choices available for the child to choose from may magically be enough to deter them from TV in the first place.


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#41 of 41 Old 02-01-2011, 11:08 PM
 
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I think at the most basic instinct, kids want to play. Sometimes when they turn to TV it's because they feel lonely or are having a hard time finding other options. DS clearly will ask for TV when DH and I are busy and can't play with him / talk to him. I love the idea of a choice chart. I don't think you have to put TV on there at all, really. Just having the choices available for the child to choose from may magically be enough to deter them from TV in the first place.



Nice point. I also think that kids tend to not be as creative and choose TV simply because its easy. If a child is looking around the living room thinking "Hmmmm, what should I do/play now?" it is just so easy to see the TV. I think if its presence is not there, kids will choose other things. We just got a HUGE flat screen so my hubby can play playstation and I personally prefer our life without it. It is mounted on the wall so I am planning on making some nice simple curtains that can close over it. Feng shui experts also seem to say that a TV (even if turned off) creates a cold presence in the living room and takes away some of the good energy. It's like the new (cold) hearth!


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