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The less is more TV and PC diet!

(11 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Mon 19-Jan-15 01:16:28

Dear all

Birth dd (10) and adopted ds (4) love the TV and love playing games or watching clips on line on the PC or on my phone.

I am becoming aware that the TV, the PC and even my phone are my enemies in the home.

I really feel they make the kids less receptive to each other (and definitely less receptive to me).

My kids enjoy films, cartoons, nothing scary or age inappropriate, and aside from that only really watch CITV and CBeebies. Yet is does have a kind of knock on effect. It is mostly the Horrid Henry, DD calling ds a 'Nappy baby' and maybe some programmes like it, all that finger waggling, backside wiggling, 'nah nah nah nah nah!' if you know what I mean.

DD loves TV and always has, so do I and so did my dad (who I suspect was dyslexic) and so does my brother in law, and we are (me, DD and BIL) dyslexic.

I have read dyslexic people are visual image fans! I am pretty sure DS is not at all dyslexic, in fact I think he may turn out very academic, he is very logical and alert, ahead in language for his age and I think he will go far. DD may well go far too, but not academically.

DS loves computers and stuff and I think he too is drawn to that blinking box!

So I want to put them on a less is more TV and PC diet!

Please can anyone share any tips of how to do this.

What I mean is... I want to further restrict the amount of time they spend on line and on TV but for them to feel like they are actually getting more! The reason I do not want to simply snap the TV off and say enough is enough is because dd really struggles at school and when she gets home TV is her relaxing thing. That is how she relaxes.

So far I have had a few ideas, please add to them if you can.

1) TV choices and looking at listings
2) TV restrictions
3) Listening to talking books and getting them out from library
4) Watching a DVD with toffee popcorn, and choosing them from library either dd and ds choose together or one chooses one week and the other the next.
5) TV dinner, a real treat they love!

1) TV Choices - more looking at the TV listings on line or in the Radio Times to actually choose the programmes they want and only switch on when the programme comes on (and off when it ends). Instead of arbitrarily switching on when we arrive home.

2) TV restrictions. Like today for example DS was naughty while at church, quite naughty (bit dd lightly on the arm, through a coat) so his punishment was no TV for the first half an hour after we got home from church. The upside of this was they both started playing with bricks and we ended up having lunch and going swimming and the TV did not go on until we got back from swimming, late afternoon. Delaying the start of TV by half an hour meant that they did not have it, or appear to miss it, almost all day!

3) Listening to talking books - these are available to borrow cheaply from our local library and dd loves them as she pretty much hates to read. Maybe I had resisted them in the past (not sure why, fear of losing the bloomin' things maybe) but now I am going to be a regular user of this service!

4) Making TV special with films instead of programmes (too many arguments with programmes, too short, hate the theme tunes etc!). A film and popcorn is a real treat rather than lots of little bits of TV. Not all the time but some of it.

5) TV dinner, is a real treat - they love it! Tonight I let them have two or three programmes in the living room with meal up the small table. DD amazingly watched all of ds's programmes with no complaints, well one complaint about 'In the Night Garden' but she still watched it with him. It kind of brought back memories because it came out when dd was younger than ds's age (4) and although she was never a huge fan, there is something about it programme that makes me feel nostalgic!

Italiangreyhound Mon 19-Jan-15 01:16:52

OK enough said, please give me your ideas to add to my own!

bberry Mon 19-Jan-15 07:55:13

I agree ...

I went through a stage of just turning the tv on in the klichen in the morning, they arnt really watching it tbh, so I stopped

So now I don't and they play much nicer with their toys and each other

We have something on only during breakfast, (so I can tidy, put washing on etc) then out most mornings, so a movie after nap time then off till gruffalos child (again) before bed!!

We have favourites like swashbuckle which I like them to watch as it's less "pink girly".... Oh... And they enjoyed watching ski Sunday yesterday!!!

slkk Mon 19-Jan-15 09:02:30

Yes I think the key is keeping them busy with other things and trying to change their mind set so that tv isn't the default. Think about how it worked this Sunday - by being distracted, they weren't bothered by tv. Could you try something similar after school to give your dd chill out time away from Tv? Ours are always starving so it's fruit on way home then when we get home hot chocolate or ice cream depending on weather and we all just sit and chat for a while. Do they like helping with cooking? Do they do after school clubs? My older ones have sports most evenings but the little one (4) is sometimes allowed a bit of tv after his bath while I'm cooking. He came very tv obsessed with a tv in every room at fc so we went cold turkey for a few weeks. He mostly watches the dvds he brought with him. Like you the inane theme tunes and weird voices on cbeebies drive me nuts. By the way, the older two have developed a system of alternating the days they get to choose tv. I don't know if this is a problem for yours but it works here. Also perhaps if it is your ds day to choose, dd may just find something else to do if his choices are too babyish. Love your idea of family movie night too. I guess it's just changing their mind set. Ooh Ds loves talking books. Look on the book people website - we just got 10 julia Donaldson cds for £10! It may also help your dd be exposed to age appropriate literature and books that her peers are into even if she struggles with reading.

Buster510 Mon 19-Jan-15 09:59:09

Hi Italian, DS went through a phase of thinking playing on the iPad was the be all & end all. I used to restrict it to certain times etc. I basically lifted specific restrictions & it's now seen as less of a "thing" that he really wants to do. He knows to always ask if he can put the TV on/play games, so there's no set rules, sometimes I say yes & sometimes no. But I'll offer an alternative I.e, building Lego, he's happy with that & just gets on playing with whatever I have suggested. He no longer constantly asks either.

So basically I found making less of a deal out of those things being seen as "treats" he is less interested. By the time he's came in from school/homework/tea together there really isn't loads of time left for TV so it's usually no more than say one or two cartoons a day. On weekends if were having a quiet in door weekend he will play on it more, but equally choses to play with his toys too. Less restrictions, he can chose if were having a lazy weekend, & he choses both (more so toys recently).

I'm not sure if this helps at all as we have no real structure to it, it just kind of worked it's way into how it is. Not making a "deal" / "treat" or "restriction" of those things based on behaviour etc worked here & he came to his own nice little balance.

Buster510 Mon 19-Jan-15 10:03:24

Also in lifting restrictions etc you may find initially they'll fill their boots with it so to speak, constant. DS soon got bored & realised it wasn't that big of a deal then we found that nice balance.

Kewcumber Mon 19-Jan-15 10:31:36

It's been amazing how much less we have the TV on since we got a Roku box and have netflix and BBC iplayer. We turn it on to watch something specific and when its finished we go back to doing something else. It wasn't a problem for us - DS loves his ipad so that has a time limit but he never was particularly gripped by the TV. It was an interesting observation though so I suspect your checking the listings and just watching what you want to.

A ROku box only costs about £30 and you don;t have to subscribe to netflix BBC iplayer is free and then you can watch favorite programmes on catch up. Alternatively get a freeview/freesat box with a recorder and record series which you can watch in your own time. I found it much better than having the TV on all the time.

Of course if you're like me and actually rather like having the TV on (its the background noise I like!) then it does mean you being pretty disciplined!

slkk Mon 19-Jan-15 12:10:45

Since the talking books we've had a CD/radio player out for background noise and it's made a nice change (until the teenager puts a dreadful noise on),

Italiangreyhound Mon 19-Jan-15 12:57:32

Thanks * bberry*, slkk , Buster, and Kew. Great ideas.

Great idea slkk , when you say It may also help your dd be exposed to age appropriate literature and books that her peers are into even if she struggles with reading. I could ask their mums of her school friends what they are reading.

Buster I do like the idea of I'm not sure if this helps at all as we have no real structure to it, it just kind of worked it's way into how it is. Not making a "deal" / "treat" or "restriction" of those things based on behaviour etc worked here & he came to his own nice little balance. Because long term they will need to regulate their own TV viewing, not have me constantly saying turn it off etc.

Kew re Alternatively get a freeview/freesat box with a recorder and record series which you can watch in your own time. I found it much better than having the TV on all the time. We had this but it broke, must get a new one. I do hate to be dominated by TV, must stay in to watch this or that! And yes, I love TV as background but I do other stuff and I am not sure it is a good habit, but I do feel I 'need' background talk, not music, not jingles and adverts and theme tunes but just 'company'!

Yes bberry we love Swashbuckle!

bberry Mon 19-Jan-15 13:31:09

The book people have a website!!!

I am off to research... Miss being able to buy stuff from them at work..

X

slkk Mon 19-Jan-15 13:44:45

I miss them too! Now I can spend too much money on books from the comfort of my own home smile

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