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Old 03-12-2010, 11:41 AM
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TV and Video Games

Do you restrict how much time your children are allowed to spend watching TV and playing video games?
If so, how much are they allowed per day/week? What are your restrictions (homework must be done, good grades, clean room, etc.)
How old are your kids?
Do they have a tv in their room?

I am having a serious battle with my kids over the tv and ps3/wii. They are 10 and 7. Since they have been in school, my rule has been no tv/video games on school nights. So essentially only Friday and Saturday night and Sunday before dinner unless they have a day off of school. Well, they never really gave me a hard time about it until this year. When we went for their well-child visit earlier this year, their pediatrician (not knowing my rule) had told them that tv time should be 1 hr/day which they interpreted as they should be allowed to watch for an hour every day and I'm just being mean.

It seems that a lot of their friends have tv's in their rooms (my kids don't) and are allowed to watch them all the time. I'm trying to figure out if I'm being too strict or what. Their grades are excellent and they do their homework first thing when they come home without a fight. I thought about allowing them to watch for 30 mins once their homework is done, but it seems if I give an inch they want to take a mile and give me a hard time when I tell them time is up. Also, on the weekend all they want to do is watch tv or play video games because I don't let them do it all week.

Just curious to hear how other parents handle this?
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:15 PM
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I'll tell you what I allow, but my son is 5, and won't start school until fall.
He does have a TV in his room, but we don't have cable hooked up to it, so all it's good for is watching movies. He hasn't watched a movie in weeks, but I don't mind letting him watch when he wants, generally. If he asked every day, it might be a different story. With the rest of the TVs in the house, we have one on top of the fridge, which is visible from the dining room table. That is generally on all the time, but rarely does he sit and watch it. I turn Disney on in the mornings, other than that, it's usually on either NBC or ABC. We usually watch the local news during dinner.
If the kids are playing in the basement while I'm making dinner or something, I'll turn the TV down there to PBS. The younger one doesn't sit and watch, though, and usually Owen doesn't either.
The only friend Owen has right now (other than the kids at the gym child care) is a girl across the street, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't have TV in her room, so it's not much of an issue.
I hate to say it, but if that comes up in the future, I'll likely resort to the old standby: "I'm not so-and-so's mom, this is *my* house, and what I say goes," or something along those lines. I'm SO turning into my mother already
As far as allowing them 30 minutes per night, what if you got a timer to plug the TV into? Then just program it for 30 minutes, when time's up, the TV shuts off (there are things that can do this, right?). Tell them if they don't like it, no TV the next night. I might just be mean, though

Edit: As far as video games go, the "baby" is nearly two, so that's a non-issue. With the older one, he has games on "his" computer that he can play, but he must ask first, and I don't always let him play. I just got him two games for the Playstation, but found out after hubby tried that you can't play PS2 games on PS3 So we *may* buy a used PS2 to hook up in his room, but it'll be the same as with the movies. It won't be that he can go play whenever he wants.
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Last edited by aswin; 03-12-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:37 PM
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I have 4 boys (ages 13, 11, 6 and 3). The oldest two have their owns room, each with a TV. The youngest two share a room and currently do not have a TV in their room. The 11 year old has an XBOX 360 hooked up in his room.

With my older boys (13 & 11), their bedtime is 9:30 on school nights. After dinner and if their homework is done, they can watch TV or play video games until lights out at 9:30. We make them shut off everything then (cell phones, iPod's, TV, game, etc). They both are usually in Sports year round with practices/games at least 3 days a week and at least one game on the weekend so they really do not have much free time to sit there any play games/watch tv anyway.

The youngest two (6 & 3) get put to bed around 8:30-9. Sometimes I have set them up in my room with a movie after dinner so that I can clean up the house for the night. But rarely will they sit there and watch a whole movie. Once they are in bed though, no TV. They don't have one in their room so that's not a huge issue but I just bought them a flat screen that I will mount on their wall soon and when that's in, it will be shut off at bedtime. I do not want them ever to get in the habit of falling asleep to a TV. I have a horrible habit of it myself. I don't feel like my brain can shut off unless there is background noise.

My youngest (3 yrs) doesn't play video games yet and rarely watches cartoons/tv. The only thing that he really requests to watch is the Season Finale of American Idol from last year that is recordered on our DVR. Weird child, I know. He will watch that 12 times in a row if I let him. Or he wants to watch our family slideshow DVD's (I put together pics from throughout the year on a DVD slideshow with music like a home video). I don't mind having those on throughout the day in our front room while I am working. I enjoy seeing the pics if I glance over and the music is much more pleasing then cartoon noice. (I HATE cartoons). He is at home with me during the day so he gets the most TV time, but again it is usually home movies. And it's usually just on in the background while he is playing.

I am pretty fortunate that non of my children want to sit there and watch TV all day. My 13 year old doesn't care for video games. My 6 and 11 year old's are the only ones that I have to restrict time on the XBOX. If it is raining and gross outside then they get to play for 2 hours during the days on the weekends. If it is nice outside then they do not get to play until night time.
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