Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Defined in our house as any non-school-related time in front of the tv or computer. For example: time you spend working on your Saxon DIVE cd-rom- not screen time. Playing Zoo Tycoon=screen time. Watching Reading Rainbow or a video about sharks with Mom during tea time because Mom needs everyone to sit quietly while she catches her breath- not screen time. Watching Fetch with Ruff Ruffman before bed= screen time. We have never had to manage screen time much around here. Our time is pretty well scheduled, and Maria has always been just as likely to spend her freetime outside or playing upstairs as she has been to watch TV. We also only have basic cable and TV is limited to preapproved shows (mostly PBS kids) and DVD's, so that helps too. However, now Kain is here....and Kain is used to LOTS of screen time. Kain spends hours everyday in front of a screen of some kind. This bothers me on a lot of levels, not the least of which are the daily battles over whose turn it is in front of which screen. We are trying a new solution...bingo chips. One for every 15 minutes of screen time. They have to "pay" me for their screen time, and they get a certain number of chips per day. The number varies a bit depending on if it's a school day or not. Near crisis came when we were picking bingo chip colors, as red is both Kain and Maria's favorite color. Crisis was avoided by decorating white poker chips with a red sharpie....so now Kain's are red and Maria's are red and white.
These issues make me long for our tv free days...a couple of years ago we had no cable at all. Such bliss...never to return if John has anything to say about it!