Can I watch a movie?

We do our best to manage Z's television consumption.
Careful choices are made:
  • two cartoons on weekend mornings
  • a movie when we have a babysitter
  • the occasional youtube foray for current interests
    (i.e., whale sharks, surfing dudes, donald duck)
  • any/all of the above when he's ill
Now he feigns illness to achieve viewership. It's funny but of concern.

It's easy enough to see through his dramatic ploy (the Academy Award for best Fever goes to....) but I worry that we're not doing this right.
Our TV is in the basement and is not a part of our daily life.
There is no unsupervised watching.
The goal is to give him enough TV access for fun and immunization.

Your perspectives please?


Maggie said...

Interesting. Okay, we're one of those families that has a huge tv right in our living room and my husband and I watch a lot of tv. Not everything we watch is great...we enjoy trashy television. BUT...we keep the tv off during the day and never just surf around. We use our pvr (and bevore that, our vcr) to record the stuff that we watched and organized our viewing that way.

The kid did not watch much tv with us, and we let him watch shows like The Amazing Race and Heroes and The Simpsons (he's almost 15), and a few other things. When he was younger, he watched even less...there is very little that's appropriate for kids...even some shows geared specifically for children are not shows I can get behind.

As it stands, the kid now has more than enough on his plate to be able to watch more television even if he wanted to. School, band practice, taekwondo, fooling around on his guitar, reading...I'm not at all worried about how much tv he watches nowadays. If he can figure out how to fit it in and it's something I think is age-appropriate, I have no problem with it. :)

Ibunnysavetroy said...

my mom implemented a no tv before 5 rule, which was changed to 530 for the majority of my youth, from about age eight to well, now (I'm 18, and it has become a habit not to watch tv until after dinner). On the weekends, the TV in the morning was allowed, but mom (and dad) had discretion about when to turn it off. Now that we have computers, the TV time has become "screen time" which means, whenever they (my two younger siblings, 10 and 12) use the computer this is taken out of the Tv time.

I do definitely feel with myself that because my mom did this limiting (I didn't get any of the computer limiting, and starting at like 14 I just had so much homework I was on the comptuer anyways), I don't want to watch tv as much, and I like to watch quality programs when I do.
My two cents!

Anonymous said...

LOL...I don't know if I should vote, as my kids are currently watching Peppa Pig so I can knit and waste time on the Internet.

As a rule of thumb, though, I figure that as long as my kids are active (they are), developing appropriately (they are), and not skipping out on real life activities to watch tv (they aren't) then I don't mind if the television is on.

I think my husband and I have a healthy relationship with the television, but we do like to watch it. I don't try to hold my kids to higher standards than I do myself...

...and I do like a good show now and again.

I say, to each their own. I went through a period where I had a lot of guilt about TV watching, so we went cold turkey. And we were fine without it. So I know we can do it...I just don't want to!

Jennifer said...

TV is a problem. I don't have kids so I can't judge... I think most of my friends with kids only let them watch videos or PBS until they're school-aged. That minimizes the "Mommy I WANT", I would assume.

That picture is adorable!! So pitiful.

Chickenbells said...

My niece enjoys limited telly...she is homeschooled and has a movie or tv episodes to watch during the afternoon...which she picks out by herself. She is 12 and NEVER gets anything higher than a PG rating, because she knows she won't like it (although, she's broken that rule a couple of times...but nothing my mother doesn't approve of) She also gets to watch Saturday Morning cartoons and YouTube (for vintage TV commercials) They have very limited cable channels...only 12 so there's hardly anything ever on...when she comes over to my house, she gets full reign, but will turn of Disney or the Cartoon Network if there's something more fun for us to do!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

My kids do watch cartoons, a bit every day, esp when they first wake up (b/c we are homeschooling, our mornings aren't a mad dash to get anywhere). I'm not anti-TV but I'm pretty strict about WHAT they can watch---I hate those sitcoms with bratty kids.

I don't really feel guilty about their tv time b/c they have a very well rounded day, which I guess is the most important thing to me.

tiennie said...

Too funny.

My kids don't watch that much tv. But we are not parents that make it off limits. We figure if their chores/homework/practice/etc is done then the tv is fine. They much prefer playing around on the computer.

Jean Pitman said...

TV is the anti-christ!!!!
Pick it up and throw it out on the front lawn and watch what happens.
Just kidding- experiment and see what happens.
I have watched him watching and he does go REALLY DEEP into it when he watches which would be kind of frightening to me, I know...so I understand your concern! He is a deep kid. Nothing half-way or so-so about that one, ever.
I watch no TV and it was seriously controlled when I was a kid. I learned to do other things/spend my time in other ways like running around outside for hours on end which I still love to do to this very day.
I am not much help, sorry! But know I love you guys!

Sara said...

right now he is mostly watching tv in situations that probably arent the most reinforcing for him (i.e when your not home and he has a sitting and when he is sick) and you have an item that is super reinforcing (i.e the tv) for him. HE is going to strive for that tv specially if its makes him happy during times that arent ideal for him. try to even the playing field out. when there is a babysitter instead of letting him watch a movie let him watch a cartoon instead so that they can interact a little by playing games and you decrease the amount of reinforcement of the tv then during the week day try to have a family night where you watch a movie together...this will reinforce in turn increasing more appropriate behavior and giving the family a chance to bond and allowing you can have control over the movie watched. i would keep the weekend cartoon routine...after all it is the weekend unless you feel he is watching to much tv ...maybe you could allow him to scan youtube instead ....as for being sick try allowing him to watch a movie but limit it...try to get him engaged in some craft for a little bit or he could read...you could introduce a bucket of fun that only comes out when he's sick. the bucket could be made up of toys he only gets access to when sick and you could include a ticket that says "exchage once to watch a movie" or something like that(the idea of this is to still replace the tv with a reiforcer that isnt so strong..fading the tv). try playing board games with him when hes sick. i know when kids are sick it can be tough to get them to do things so the tv is always a good fall back but in your case its starting to become an issue. try allowing him assess to the tv or youtube clips for behaviors you want him to have ...like finishing his home work for the week or keeping his room clean...kinda like an allowance but using the tv...be strict when he says he is sick...make sure he is telling the truth...if he is sick play to his level...if he is so sick he cant do much physically allow tv breaks more often if he is sick but high functioning have him take part in activities that are more interactive........sorry this post is sounds rather formal ...im a psychology major and work as a behaviorist trying to decrease unfavorable behaviors

out side of the behaviorist view point i like the idea Ibunnysavetroy parents implemented. setting aside a certain time for tv or screen time. it allows the parent to have control over and monitor what is watched and to monitor how long they watch it for.

Sasha said...

We only have our 10 year old for school holidays and it is intereating each time since his Mum's rules and values are VERY different to our own. We will watch a movie all together now and again and make sure we comment as we go through on the good behaviors and the bad ones, especially as some 'good guy's now still have pretty awful traits! But it is hard to find a balance with things kids are trained to like ( sugar, lollies, fast food ) since if you only bring them out on special occasions they associate it as a special treat and better than what happens normally! Gah! I think your system sounds good, but maybe highlight to him that you can tell that he's trying to trick you and that's not a very nice thing to do. Good luck!