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Rationing t.v./ computer time for 3 yo

(6 Posts)
Lovage Tue 25-Aug-09 21:33:26

So what do you do?

DS1(3) would happily spend all day watching tv and playing on the computer (PoissonRouge - it's toddler crack). He can't be lured away with much else, certainly not by boring things like eating or going out. We need to set some limits.

T.V. is not so bad because we can do 'til the end of this programme' (although he tries it on with the little in-between bits you get on cbeebies). Although stopping does often provoke tantrums which generally wake DS2 who has just gone down for a nap, since that's one of the times DS1 is allowed to watch t.v.

Computer is harder, especially since we got slack now he can use a mouse, so doesn't need constant supervision (yes, yes, he is protected from unsuitable stuff).

I wondered about a timer counting down to however many minutes/hours a day he is allowed and when the beeper goes he has to stop. Maybe with '10 minutes left' etc. warnings, since sudden stops never work out well. But I fear he'd just always watch that amount, and I'd rather he didn't watch any somedays.

He's very bright, very devious and very determined.

What do you do? Any ideas?

Lovage Tue 25-Aug-09 21:35:49

Oh, and he can very nearly tell the time, and is very good on numbers, so I don't think surreptitiously changing the amount of time he was allowed would work.

drinkyourmilk Tue 25-Aug-09 21:39:54

i have a 4yr old who is also square eyed (comp and tv). We found it worked better to fix time of day she could do this stuff - ie between 6 and 7pm. If it falls outside these hours it's for a timed period ~(the timer is not within her reach or would be changed!)

hungrierhippo Tue 25-Aug-09 21:44:43

I understand where you are coming from and I don't want to sound judgey mcjudgepants but HE'S 3! Turn it off! Tell him you are now doing something else!

DS1 is also 3 and constantly tries to negotiate more peppa pig but the tv goes off and he is told we will now do something else. He is allowed one 20 minute set in the morning while I have my shower. He is allowed to watch tv after lunch if he is tired and he is allowed half an hour before bed.

Sky plus is a good investment in this regard as the programme stops for you and gives you time to turn the tv off before it reverts to normal tv.

thegrammerpolicesic Tue 25-Aug-09 21:54:48

We have two TV programmes a day here for ds - around 20 mins each if typical CBeebies fayre.
The only exceptions are if he is ill or I am.

All ours are recorded on Sky+ too so it goes off at the end.

He has started trying to negotiate more just yesterday for the first time, asking why he is only allowed two programmes and saying he thinks it should be three or even four. Cheeky thing.

I'm standing firm and explaining why too much TV is bad. Luckily he doesn't know how to turn the Sky Plus programmes on yet. Occasionally he doesn't take up his two programmes if he's very busy and we're out but mostly he does.

Agree that computer time is much trickier - like the idea of a timer. I think you're probably going to have to accept that he'll always want that amount and you have to go with that and simply try and limit it.

EldonAve Tue 25-Aug-09 21:56:50

We have parental controls on the mac that limit time

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