Exciting note almost totally unrelated to this post:

In the next few weeks, I’m going to have the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at two of my (and maybe your) favourite TV shows. I’ll be posting here after the fact, but I’ll be live-tweeting and Facebooking while I’m there, and I don’t want you to miss any pics or tidbits of information! If you’re not already, pretty-please:

*Like me on Facebook here
*Follow me on Twitter here 

and I encourage (since “beg” is a bit strong) you to reply/retweet, like/comment, etc. to share the fun with me!

Thanks, everyone!


And now for our regularly scheduled program…so to speak…

One beautiful weekend in June, I decided to implement a random rule about summer TV-watching for my daughters. They get:

  • An hour when they wake up (and I attempt to sleep in – they’ve even started toasting their own waffles and pouring their own cereal!)
  • An hour at bedtime (when I like to put the house in order and start winding down myself)
I told them that if they ask in between those hours, they will lose the next time they’ve been allotted. (I gave one reminder about this, and they haven’t asked again. Granted we’ve only put in one week of holidays.) The girls know which channels are always safe, and hit the “info” button on the remote to double-check a program if unsure (8-PG is the most sophisticated rating they are permitted without one of us actively watching along with them.)

I know one family that unplugs the television altogether for the summer months, but I would honestly cry (and I mean now, as an adult) if someone took my television away…ever.
That said, we live out in the country with a swimming pool, playset and nice safe yard, and we have the luxury of spending most of the summer home with our kids (other than the two weeks they attend performing arts day camp). There’s no way that they “need” television during the day to entertain them. They also have so much stuff it blows my mind (which you’ll read more about when I share their bedroom renos with you!)
When we’re indoors, they still spend a bit of time on our computer or tablet (or Frannie on her iPod – which is another blog post in the making) as long as they’re doing some sort of interactive game (not just watching videos, thereby sneaking around the no-TV rule). I especially like when they play a computer game together. In 2014, is there really a lot of difference between bonding over a tech game or a board game with your sister?
I’ve actually been proud of myself for sticking to the rule. After a only a few days at home, I’ve been tempted a few times to say “Just go watch TV!” (i.e. “Just sit somewhere out of my way, stop fighting and be quiet!”) but I have resisted thus far.
They’ve been in the pool daily, they’re playing with their toys lots as well as doing crafts, and they’ve even taken to listening to the radio through our satellite dish (Maggie loves the classical station, which always seems to inspire her to ballet dance around the house, and her father will never let her live down the ballerina moment when she stood on the living room bench and called out “Catch me, boy!” as she jumped into her sister’s arms.) 
That’s my house…how about yours? Do you set special screen time rules during the summer? Or just in general? I’d love to hear what other parents are doing…and how it’s going!

3 comments on “Important Note and Summer Screen Time Rules: What Are Yours?”

  1. I have also created summer time electronic rules for our house. My rule is pretty simple – no electronics (tv, phone, computer, tablet, leap pad, etc,) from 9am – 4pm. We're only a week in but it has worked like a charm! The boys don't get up until 7:30ish so they're only getting an hour and a bit in the morning, evenings are a bit trickier as 4 – 8pm is way too much tv in my mind. So far it's been about an hour around 4pm and another 1/2 hour at bedtime. There has been minimal asking between the hours of 9 and 4 and even if the boys do ask the answer is no. It's amazing to see what they can come up with to entertain themselves without electronics!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Mary! Obviously you and I think alike. Maybe I should allow a 4:00 "bonus" hour on rainy days (or days when I just can't take it – though I wouldn't want to reward fighting!)

    Hitting the library to stock up really helped this week, as well as swimming lessons breaking up the days. We also spent a full afternoon purging bedrooms – which I'll share more about later!

  3. I'm stealing my idea from my (other) sister- the kids can earn up to an hour of screen time each day by either doing a chore or reading. So far Simon has read 40 pages of his first chapter book! He'll do ANYTHING to get out of having to do work, even read;0)
    The remote controls are also well hidden and we always keep our computers password protected so they can't have access to them unless we let them anyway (this came about after an unfortunate Miley Cirus video was viewed when I thought I was supervising children)!

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