Television, computer, and video games, oh my - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 80 Old 07-21-2011, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm constantly at odds with my 5 yr old son daily about the t.v. and the computer and recently he's increasingly verbal about wanting a video gaming system for his birthday.  I don't like any of these, especially for use on a daily basis. I know I'm being hypocritical about the computer as obviously I'm using it now but I do use it sparingly and I think make good use of the time I spend with it. I am really against video games of any kind, even non violent, educational types, for children. I don't want to get on my soap box about my opinions about these things but I would love ideas about how to handle this with my son. I admit I am so tempted to go dictator and ban him from it all. I'm afraid that will have the forbidden fruit effect. I want to give him some freedom to make the right choices with them because that seems more practical to me, I can't hide him away from a society that has to have internet connections on their cell phones and apps to get the weather or leave a tip.

 

The problem is, he is addicted, alraedy, it is sad and worrisome. The second he comes through the front door he turns on the tv or asks to use the computer.I will give him a time limit on the computer but he wont get off. It's all he wants to do, it IS all he talks about tv shows and computer games.  It is what he acts out in his play.  I don't know how to or if I should give some choices with him being so hooked. The other thing is he's an only child and I'm sure if he had siblings to play with he wouldn't be quite so quick to turn the to screen for entertainment but there isn't anything I can do about that. I'm not even sure how to talk to him about this. He asked me the other day why I hate television. Sigh. I told him I don't hate it, but they show a lot of things like fighting that are against my values and it's mainly used to sell people things that they don't need. I kind of lied to him, while I don't hate it, I did sugarcoat my feelings a bit.

 

Do I forbid it? Do I lighten up? Do I give him more choices? I just don't know. Any thoughts or advice?


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#2 of 80 Old 07-22-2011, 04:42 AM
 
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I think your 5 year old is perfectly normal. He wants to play video games something he probably talks about at school with other kids etc. From what you have said, I think you are going slightly overboard with the No TV, video game rule. You need to give your child different options.

 

What I mean by this is balance things out. After school get him to join a sports club, an after school club, take him out to play etc. Give your child different things to do. All too often parents complain about video games, TV etc but then parents need to make the effort to engage with their child in different activities. 

 

When your child is physically tired they won't be playing video games all the time. I sit down and build lego with my son's, challenge them to build things, get their minds to be creative etc. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Jessica 

 

 

 

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#3 of 80 Old 07-22-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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i always think the best thing to do is to have your kid work with you to develop a plan.  it's MUCH easier to stick to and you typically don't have to try to enforce something if the kid helped write the "rules."  can you explain your concerns and ask him to help you think of good limits?  show him or read to him the screen times that are suggested for his age group:

Children over the age of 2 — including into the teen years — should spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen. (American Academy of Pediatrics)  that means total screen time.. video games plus tv plus computer...

see if you can make that work for you, and let him decide when the best times, or when he wants to watch will be. 

also, offer options.  go outside or to the park consistently every other day, or when you can do so.  maybe have a schedule for weekends?  establishing a rhythm might help, too.. such as on saturday, we go to the farmer's market, then the library together, then go home and eat lunch and read, etc. 

do you already know there's a TV free forum here on mdc?  you might get some ideas there, too.

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#4 of 80 Old 07-22-2011, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tip, I did not know there was a tv free forum here, I will definately be checking it out. I really like the idea of bringing him into the decision making and structuring our days more. I just have to work on that. wink1.gif   We do a lot of things together especially card games and board games and puzzles. Last summer I was trapped in CandyLand misery, honestly I never knew I could grow to dislike Candy Land so much. I do need to think of more things for us to do and it's hard with him having no one at home to play with and especially during the summer. Where we leave it is too hot and humid to play outside during the day, we have about one good hour in the evening before the mosquitos come out in full force.

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#5 of 80 Old 07-22-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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you must live where I live! 


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#6 of 80 Old 07-22-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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I would be the parent and place limitations on them. If he doesn't follow your rules then you limit him even more. Give him other activities to do. Take him to the park, outdoors for walks and doing other things, play board games or outdoor games, play in the dirt! My son was always outdoors at that age getting dirty. He still does at the age of 15, lol. I would definitely start placing strict limitations on technology while your child is still this young or it may get out of hand later.


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#7 of 80 Old 07-22-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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He doesn't need a sibling to have a play mate, YOU play with him. He will be so excited he'll forget all about TV. I highly recommend "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen. 

 

Also, you said it in your post, but you are being hypocritical. Maybe just relax a little bit. If you have a healthy attitude toward technology your kids will pick up on it eventually.


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#8 of 80 Old 07-23-2011, 01:18 AM
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i am agree with all

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#9 of 80 Old 07-23-2011, 04:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post

I would be the parent and place limitations on them. If he doesn't follow your rules then you limit him even more. Give him other activities to do. Take him to the park, outdoors for walks and doing other things, play board games or outdoor games, play in the dirt! My son was always outdoors at that age getting dirty. He still does at the age of 15, lol. I would definitely start placing strict limitations on technology while your child is still this young or it may get out of hand later.



you know this is the Gentle Discipline forum, right?  i'm not sure how "placing strict limitations" and "if he doesn't follow the rules then you limit even more" is gentle or helpful exactly.  can you elaborate on how you "enforce" your "strict limitations?"


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#10 of 80 Old 07-23-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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We limit screen time and have found they find things to do. they play outside.They build things. they create art projects. I do at times have to gear how unfair life is however it is worth it to see how creative the have become
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#11 of 80 Old 07-23-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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you know this is the Gentle Discipline forum, right?  i'm not sure how "placing strict limitations" and "if he doesn't follow the rules then you limit even more" is gentle or helpful exactly.  can you elaborate on how you "enforce" your "strict limitations?"


 

I agree. The phrase "I would be the parent" also really rubs me the wrong way. What else would you be? The family dog? 


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#12 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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I suggest putting a time limit on how much he can play then getting him out to do other things.  My dd and I love to read together, sit and talk, walk to coffee shops, go to the library, run in the sprinklers at the park, attend the various activities going on around town, etc...  If you don't enjoy playing kid games there are still many other things you can do with your child to make limiting tv possible.  If you have a YMCA in your area then I also suggest looking into getting a membership, at least for the summer.  They offer scholarships if you can't afford their full price.  Our city pools offer summer passes at half price this time of year so you may want to see if yours do the same. 

 

If you find that limiting the game does nothing for your son's attitude and behavior then I would ban it all together.  My dd was very very very negative after watching the Wizards of Waverly show and I did eventually ban it outright.  We had many discussions about her attitude after watching it, my feelings on the show, and my increasing desire to ban it so it really didn't come as a surprise when I did.  I still allow other shows because most don't affect her like that, but the few that do I am willing to ban for a few years so she has time to mature a bit before she watches them again.  Gentle Discipline doesn't mean that you don't have absolute limits on some things, it means that the limits are thoughtful and take the child's feelings and well being into account.

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#13 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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you know this is the Gentle Discipline forum, right?  i'm not sure how "placing strict limitations" and "if he doesn't follow the rules then you limit even more" is gentle or helpful exactly.  can you elaborate on how you "enforce" your "strict limitations?"

what is wrong with strict limits on screen time?  How is that NOT gentle?  It's more gentle to let a child get addicted to that kind of thing?

 

We absolutely cut back on screen time here if I feel like my DS is getting too  'into' it.  And yes if there is whining/obsessive talk I limit it even more.  It's simply not healthy for a child to become obsessed with gaming/TV at the age of FIVE.  My God how is this being debated?
 

 

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#14 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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We moved house when my son was 4.5, a serious Discovery Kids addict.  The TV we had was the landlord's and a loaner.  When we got to the new house we had no TV.  Strangely he did not really miss it and spent much more time outside. 

 

Maybe you could just go on vacation and pretend you got broken into and someone stole it and hide it away upstairs. 

 

We don't discuss video gaming systems in our house.  I do not like them.  I find them a  total time suck and unimaginative.  I made it clear that he may play them when at his friends' houses if they have them but over my dead body will one ever enter my house.  He has a better chance of getting a cat than a Wii, and we are devoted dog-people.

 

For the computer, we just have one, so we have to share and since I do a large part of my marking via e-mail this significantly limits his use.  Mostly we use it to watch movies together.

 

When we got a TV again, we decided to use the set timer for programs, he can choose two 30 minute shows a day, he has to program them, and when they are finished he must agree to share the Tv with everyone else or he is taken off TV privileges until he can learn to share with a happier attitude. (ETA: that goes for everyone in the house btw, except for the baby who doesn't give a rat's patootey about TV, even when I wish she would so I could just do one more exam script, or if there is a special sports event or movie on.)

 

That's what works for us.

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#15 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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Hildare...here is how I enforce TV limitations:  I unplug the TV and put it under my bed, or lock it in my room.  I bought it.  I pay the cable bills.  I control the use of it.  I am fair and I expect him to be and if he can't...bang goes his right to share it. 

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#16 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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I agree with this assessment.  According to dictionary.com, to discipline means "to train by instruction" or "to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control." 

 

I'm going to stop here and preface that this is my own personal opinion, and mine alone, so I do realize and respect that other people feel differently.  But here goes...

 

In my observations, far too many people take "gentle discipline" to mean letting their kids have free-reign and full control over everything.  While that may work in many households, I disagree.  Gentle refers to the manner you approach your kids, without violence, harshness, aggression, harming them.  But discipline is different from punishment.  Punishing a child is a negative act.  But discipline is about training a child up by instruction.  Discipline, from gentle discipline, involves guiding, directing, and shaping a child.  There have to be limits for healthy growth.  We all have a glutinous side, we all have things we adore.  But we know that we can't gorge on chocolate cake or we'll get fat, get heart disease, and not be healthy.  So we enjoy it in moderation.  But we weren't born knowing that; we had to learn.  We also know that we can't walk in the middle of traffic; we had to learn.  To discipline - in my opinion - is to guide and direct your child.  I can't imagine people actually debating allowing a child unlimited access to screens; we know that they are unhealthy for us outside of moderate amounts, and most especially on a young developing brain.  I can't fathom allowing my kids to have unlimited time at the screen.  And I am personally bothered by someone insinuating that I am less of a "gentle" parent for guiding and directing - or disciplining - my children through limits to something harmful to themselves.  Setting limits is not punishing a child; it is directing them.  And I agree with Mommy68 that setting limits is very healthy and very necessary to help train up a child.

 

Like I said, these are my opinions and are mine alone, so I can respect that someone else feels differently.

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I would be the parent and place limitations on them. If he doesn't follow your rules then you limit him even more. Give him other activities to do. Take him to the park, outdoors for walks and doing other things, play board games or outdoor games, play in the dirt! My son was always outdoors at that age getting dirty. He still does at the age of 15, lol. I would definitely start placing strict limitations on technology while your child is still this young or it may get out of hand later.



 


 

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#17 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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Did a moderator really just use the phrase "train up a child?" Am I the only one who just had a heart attack over that? Yikes!

 

Hakeber, If YOU bought a television and YOU are paying cable bills then maybe you should re-evaluate how much you dislike television. 

 

Also, go on vacation and tell them someone stole your TV? So, I guess the message we want to send is that it's alright to lie to get your way? If you think kids don't pick up on that, you're wrong. 

 

A thought on learning to enjoy things in moderation... I used to eat a piece of chocolate every day. DD discovered that she liked chocolate and wanted to have it all the time. I was obviously not OK with that, I told her that she can have one bite a day just like me. That was not enough for her, she asked for it about 10 times a day. So I said, since you can't do it in moderation maybe we better not have chocolate. But I didn't hide it in the cupboard and tell her we didn't have any, I stopped eating chocolate. If you are going to ban your kids from watching TV, playing video games and being on the computer then you better be prepared to give it up yourself otherwise you are just a big fat hypocrite. 

 

If they can't handle having limits on something, and you feel that they are truly addicted and it is having a negative affect on their well-being, then by all means get rid of the offending activity but don't puss out and lie about it. Also be prepared to put in the extra time entertaining your kids were they were previously entertained by other things. If you want the results, you've got to do the work.

 

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#18 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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Did a moderator really just use the phrase "train up a child?" Am I the only one who just had a heart attack over that? Yikes!

 

Hakeber, If YOU bought a television and YOU are paying cable bills then maybe you should re-evaluate how much you dislike television. 

 

Also, go on vacation and tell them someone stole your TV? So, I guess the message we want to send is that it's alright to lie to get your way? If you think kids don't pick up on that, you're wrong. 

 

A thought on learning to enjoy things in moderation... I used to eat a piece of chocolate every day. DD discovered that she liked chocolate and wanted to have it all the time. I was obviously not OK with that, I told her that she can have one bite a day just like me. That was not enough for her, she asked for it about 10 times a day. So I said, since you can't do it in moderation maybe we better not have chocolate. But I didn't hide it in the cupboard and tell her we didn't have any, I stopped eating chocolate. If you are going to ban your kids from watching TV, playing video games and being on the computer then you better be prepared to give it up yourself otherwise you are just a big fat hypocrite. 

 

If they can't handle having limits on something, and you feel that they are truly addicted and it is having a negative affect on their well-being, then by all means get rid of the offending activity but don't puss out and lie about it. Also be prepared to put in the extra time entertaining your kids were they were previously entertained by other things. If you want the results, you've got to do the work.

 


So everyone in the house should stop watching TV b/c one person is having problems with it?  That's fine I guess if you want it that way but totally unnecessary, IMO.  

 

DH and I are the bosses here.  We do our best to make the best ADULT decisions to keep everyone healthy.  that involves limits for the kids on TV.  DH and I don't have problems limiting our TV.  So we still have access to it.

 


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#19 of 80 Old 07-24-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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look, you guys are talking about limiting TV and video games like this kid is a teenager and everybody is talking about "being the parent" and "making the adult decisions." This kid is FIVE, he is only watching TV/being at the computer/ playing video games because the ADULTS around him are. If you want your FIVE year old to stop watching TV, then stop watching TV yourself, get off your bum and play with your kid.

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#20 of 80 Old 07-25-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/gentle-discipline-forum-guidelines

 

Just wanted to be sure everyone has read the community guidelines for the forum "gentle discipline."  Thanks!  thumb.gif

 

 

 


 

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#21 of 80 Old 07-25-2011, 11:33 PM
 
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I do not think TV, computers, games, candy, etc. are inherently "bad."  BUT, I absolutely know they are addictive.  Maybe not to everyone, but for many of us, yes.

 

This is what we do-- for TV, we have a DVR.  We only record certain shows, and they have to skip past commercials.  My guideline for TV is that they should not watch it only because they are bored.  Want to relax?  Sure.  Want to learn something?  Yup.  But doing it just because they have nothing else to do-- no.  This is where you step in with ideas. This DOES NOT mean that you have to be your son's playmate.  I think many adults are uncomfortable with this because it is not what we are meant to do.  We can be playful with children and play with them, but I do not think we should be their playmates.  Plus, sometimes, children should be bored.  Why is bored a bad thing?  We can't see it this way.  Even though I was not an only child, I learned to play a lot on my own.  It is a good skill, to be able to hang out with yourself.  You can learn this by being bored.  By accepting boredom, we also come to peace-- to see that we do not need to be entertained every second.  Isn't that a nice freedom?

 

For the computer, we have a timer.  They can play games for 30 minutes (we give them choices) but they can use the computer other times for writing and drawing.  That does not count for the 30 minutes.  One thing they LOVED was when I gave them tickets.  You could do this for your son.  You could give him screen time tickets-- whatever limit you set, and then in 30 min. increments or whatever.  He could apply them to TV or computer.  They love to cash in those tickets!

 

So, they do have access, but there are limits in terms of content as well as time.  Like you said you don't like the fighting on TV-- neither do I, which is why I would never let my children watch shows in which there is violence.  (Well, not the young ones-- older DD has read and seen HP movies.)

 

Oh, and something else they like-- they like when I watch TV with them.  We talk about the shows.  I actually like some of them!  Not only do I like some of the kid ones, but they watch some meant for "everyone" like Nature (they love this show). ..and they will watch Globe Trekkers with me, too.

 

Really, I wish someone would set limits for ME.  I always did my homework and was "responsible" but I watched waaaaaay too much TV.  No real limits.  Now I have the task of trying to do it as an adult (set limits) and I think it is hard.  I love when we are on vacation-- even though DH always brings a laptop, I steer clear and enjoy my time away from it-- I do not use it at all!

 

 


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#22 of 80 Old 07-26-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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Great post, Mizelenius, especially the quoted part below.  I am a (mostly) good, loving mother, but I really do not enjoy playing.  It's been a huge source of parenting guilt for me, and I'm only starting to be able to let it go.  Thanks also for sharing how you limit screen time in your family.  

 

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This DOES NOT mean that you have to be your son's playmate.  I think many adults are uncomfortable with this because it is not what we are meant to do.  We can be playful with children and play with them, but I do not think we should be their playmates.  

 

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#23 of 80 Old 07-26-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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what is wrong with strict limits on screen time?  How is that NOT gentle?  It's more gentle to let a child get addicted to that kind of thing?

 

We absolutely cut back on screen time here if I feel like my DS is getting too  'into' it.  And yes if there is whining/obsessive talk I limit it even more.  It's simply not healthy for a child to become obsessed with gaming/TV at the age of FIVE.  My God how is this being debated?
 

 


um... did you even read my posts?  i am wondering how suggesting simply making rules and "enforcing them" is gentle.  i agree that screen time should be limited.  and i said so in my original post, along with offering gentle discipline suggestions about how to include the child in coming up with solutions.  which IS what most folks would consider "gentle discipline," rather than ominous and vague mentions of rules and enforcement.

 

I've read a ton about gentle discipline, and it's what we practice.  i honestly and truly am not trying to be confrontational, but do think it's helpful to point out that gentle discipline is not about the parent creating arbitrary rules then taking things away from a child (which in the kid's eyes, if you have been allowing excessive screentime, pretty much feels like) isn't really anything more than, as some people said, "training up a child," or "being the boss." 

the inital suggestion i had for the OP was to include the child in the decision making process after sharing information about the recommended amount of screen time.  that is a gd approach, and i'll be glad to point out resources that support that rather than some of the other suggestions, which actually surprise me. 

and, honestly, in my opinion, which is neither gd nor non-gd, the best way to prevent this situation is to not ever allow it in the first place or find some mutually agreed upon rules before having kids engage in screen time or video games.  and, yes, i agree with the poster who said it was difficult to try to force your kid to do something you are not willing to do yourself.  a 5 year old is not going to really understand that.

 

and, again, nothing really to do with gd, but i don't necessarily agree that a parent is responsible for entertaining a child in the way a video game could, nor should a parent "have" to be a playmate.  i think it's ideally much better for a kid to learn to be resourceful on her/his own.  not to say parent involvement isn't really important, but i just think it's better for a kid to come up with activities and ideas (at OP's kid's age) rather than being dependent on ANY outside entity -- parent, tv, whatever-- to provide complete entertainment.  (of course, books are the exception...)

maybe mdc needs a separate forum for folks who want to talk about discipline that is not typically gentle discipline? 

 


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um... did you even read my posts?  i am wondering how suggesting simply making rules and "enforcing them" is gentle.  i agree that screen time should be limited.  and i said so in my original post, along with offering gentle discipline suggestions about how to include the child in coming up with solutions.  which IS what most folks would consider "gentle discipline," rather than ominous and vague mentions of rules and enforcement.

 

I've read a ton about gentle discipline, and it's what we practice.  i honestly and truly am not trying to be confrontational, but do think it's helpful to point out that gentle discipline is not about the parent creating arbitrary rules then taking things away from a child (which in the kid's eyes, if you have been allowing excessive screentime, pretty much feels like) isn't really anything more than, as some people said, "training up a child," or "being the boss." 

the inital suggestion i had for the OP was to include the child in the decision making process after sharing information about the recommended amount of screen time.  that is a gd approach, and i'll be glad to point out resources that support that rather than some of the other suggestions, which actually surprise me. 

and, honestly, in my opinion, which is neither gd nor non-gd, the best way to prevent this situation is to not ever allow it in the first place or find some mutually agreed upon rules before having kids engage in screen time or video games.  and, yes, i agree with the poster who said it was difficult to try to force your kid to do something you are not willing to do yourself.  a 5 year old is not going to really understand that.

 

and, again, nothing really to do with gd, but i don't necessarily agree that a parent is responsible for entertaining a child in the way a video game could, nor should a parent "have" to be a playmate.  i think it's ideally much better for a kid to learn to be resourceful on her/his own.  not to say parent involvement isn't really important, but i just think it's better for a kid to come up with activities and ideas (at OP's kid's age) rather than being dependent on ANY outside entity -- parent, tv, whatever-- to provide complete entertainment.  (of course, books are the exception...)

maybe mdc needs a separate forum for folks who want to talk about discipline that is not typically gentle discipline? 

 


Isn't what you're referring to called "consensual living"? I don't think that's the same thing as gentle discipline, IMO anyway. For me, gentle discipline includes rules and limitations. It's gentle and guiding. I'm not shaming or threatening or yelling. There are plenty of rules and limitations in the world, I don't think there is anything not gentle about having some household rules.
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Isn't what you're referring to called "consensual living"? I don't think that's the same thing as gentle discipline, IMO anyway. For me, gentle discipline includes rules and limitations. It's gentle and guiding. I'm not shaming or threatening or yelling. There are plenty of rules and limitations in the world, I don't think there is anything not gentle about having some household rules.


exactly.

and I AM the boss.  My kids are 5, 2 and 2 mos.  They need a boss.  You've never had a kind, gentle boss?  

 

Not everything is a negotiation here.  Sometimes rules are just what they are.  I am 35, not 2 (or 5).  Some of the rules I make are not up for debate.  I can't think of anything more exhausting than having a situation where every single rule was negotiable.

 

I think CL is a terrible idea.

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Being alive for 35 years does not make you better than someone who's been alive for 2 or 5. More knowledgeable, sure, but it does not give you a right to boss anyone around whatever "gentle" way you'd find to do it. People often mistake coercion and manipulation (e.g. going away on vacation and hiding the television) for gentle discipline, but kids can tell the difference. It reminds me of a phrase that was thrown around on this board a while back, "benevolent dictatorship" as if there ever was such a thing. 

 

I also agree that CL is a bad idea, mostly because children are not capable of deciding what is best for their future and for the people around them. But can they decide what is best for them, personally in the present? Sure, and they deserve to be included in decisions that involve them, because they have a right to autonomy. That being said it is important to respect their limits and it is our job to know what they are and are not capable of at varying stages in their development. 

 

Is there anything wrong with having rules and limits? No, of course not, they are an inevitable part of life. But arbitrary rules based on the parent's needs and not the child's are absolutely NOT a part of gentle discipline. 

 

And a 5 year old DOES have a need for their parent to at least occasionally enter their world so they feel like they are understood. Everyone at every age has that need. At 5, this does mean playing with them. Just because the idea of it makes you uncomfortable doesn't make it any less of a legitimate need for them. If you spend no time playing with your child they are going to feel isolated and alone at home. Play is their way of interacting with the world and if they have to go at it alone all of the time it's no wonder they'd want to watch TV and play video games...

 

 


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#28 of 80 Old 07-26-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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who is talking about arbitrary rules?  The thread is about screen time.

 

And I think I have used the term 'benevolent dictator' about my own parenting style (tongue in cheek, but more than a hint of truth)

 

we can agree to disagree :)


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who is talking about arbitrary rules?  The thread is about screen time.

 


If you decide to take all screen time away from a child because enforcing a limit of 2 hours is too difficult (which was discussed on this thread, I don't know by whom), you are absolutely setting an arbitrary rule that is more for your benefit (less nagging by the child) than for the child's who is used to having screen time to fill whatever time they don't spend playing with their parents because they can't get over whatever uncomfortable feelings they have about playing. 

 

You know what boggles me? Mothers overcome incredible discomfort to breast feed their babies, but then when they start to be more independent and need to play mothers will not get over any small discomfort to play with them. 

 


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#30 of 80 Old 07-26-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Isn't what you're referring to called "consensual living"? I don't think that's the same thing as gentle discipline, IMO anyway. For me, gentle discipline includes rules and limitations. It's gentle and guiding. I'm not shaming or threatening or yelling. There are plenty of rules and limitations in the world, I don't think there is anything not gentle about having some household rules.

nope.  i am talking about gentle discipline, unconditional parenting in particular.  in our family we have rules and limits.  the difference is that children based upon their age and ability are allowed to help us as we create these rules that affect us all. 

philosophically, i think the theme that kind of runs throughout GD is that we should, as much as possible, encourage autonomy and independence.  In any group of humans living together, there can be mutually decided upon rules.  There's no reason whatsoever a parent would not encourage participation in this structural design of their environment, except to prepare a child to be a non-questioning, rule-following, obedient-to-authority child. 

in my opinion, some of the posts kind of hint at this.  "because i am the parent and i say so" isn't teaching anything.  teaching is discipline.  encouraging participation in family life is gentle discipline.  manipulating a child or demanding that a child follow a particular rule that isn't explained, not so much. 

i have no idea what consentual living is, but i do know what GD is.  and isn't. 
 

 

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