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Old 07-25-2014, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Googx79 View Post
Hello everyone, I just recently joined the forum. Just a quick introduction, I'm the father of 4 children. 3 girls and 1 boy... ages ranging from 5 to 7 (5 year olds are twins). Anyway, they love watching TV, it's nearly impossible to get them to go outside or pretty much do anything besides sit in front of the TV. I've been trying different things in an effort to break this. I've come up with a few which I shared on my blog. Not sure if I'm able to link the article as I'm new and don't want to be considered a spammer. I was wondering if anyone else had some suggestions. It drives me nuts, when I was young I would stay outside until it would get dark and my parents forced me to come in.
What sort of activities are you doing outdoors yourself? What do you do with them?

Have you taken them out to learn about nature? Do they actually have things they can, are allowed, do in your yard/neighborhood or do you just expect them to sit outside? What sports equipment do they ave access to?
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:26 PM
Location: here
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It is a constant battle here, too. I do know what you mean by forcing them to get off vs them wanting to get off. When we have a day off, I try to plan an activity. We either go to the pool or go downtown to a museum or something, or maybe a hike. I've never been great at entertaining them at home. We do better when we leave the house. I also make them do chores and read before they can watch TV or use their tablets. My husband is great about going out in the yard and throwing a football with them too.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:30 PM
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We had a hard and fast rule about no tv during daylight hours, unless it was raining or too cold to go outside. If kids are given no alternatives, they do an amazing job at entertaining themselves without electronics.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:45 PM
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
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Originally Posted by Googx79 View Post
I've actually come up with 3 methods that I've found will usually work with my kids... I was seeing if anyone else had suggestions.
Method 1 = Turn off tv
Method 2 = Cancel cable / satt service
Method 3 = Throw breaker that powers tv

Trust me...they will WANT to get up from the tv after just a few moments of staring at a blank screen.

Life isn't always about "getting" kids to do things. There will always be rules and regulations they have to follow. Everything in life is regulated by someone else. A limited amount of time regulated by you is a good beginging of them learning to follow life's rules.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:01 PM
Location: Kaliforneea
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#1 it starts with the power button and your parental authority

#2 don't populate the house with TVs & video game systems in other rooms. 1 in the living room is plenty.

#3 think like a daycare center or summer camp, and create "Theme Days"
- Monday shall be Arts n Crafts - watercolors, wooden & plastic models, clay, bead jewelry
- Tuesday shall be swimming and sunbathing, water balloons and supersoakers. Make them water the garden.
- Wednesday shall be chores: room cleaning, laundry, vacuum, toy pruning, clothes to the goodwill, and recycling cans
- Thursday shall be a field trip to the library or botanical gardens, followed by bike/skate/skateboard/jump rope action
- Friday can be TV/movie day. You'll need a rest day yourself.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Googx79 View Post
I completely understand what you're saying. However I was thinking more along the lines of making them want to get away from the TV.
Haha, let us know. We don't have Roku or cable, so it's easier.

My children earn screen time on days off. Days at school = no screen time.

10 minutes per math worksheet
10 minutes per page of writing (little one it is penmanship, big one it is creative writing)
10 minutes per book read aloud for the emerging reader
Minute-for-minute exchange for musical or typing practice
20 minutes per book report on a newspaper article
20 minutes for a copied book (e.g. if the five-year-old transcribes a short learning-to-read book neatly)
1 hour for a science experiment with full write up

They still want to spend time in front of the TV, but laziness prevents it. About once per week I get five pages of math and five pages of writing from each of them and they watch a movie.

You can also arrange a bike ride in the morning, set up a game of basketball in the afternoon.

If I did not do this they would sit on their butts all day and watch TV from morning to night, at least the older one would.

Incidentally, they do whine about it still. I have never given in and they still whine about TV. How can that be possible? I don't know. I don't get the logic. "This has never worked... let me try again."
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:35 PM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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One thing that worked with my grandkids was getting them pets. If you don't want a dog or cat in the house, all the better. All kids love animals. Get them something small, quiet, and able to be caged, like a few rabbits. They won't be home for 2 minutes, before they'll want to get out and see the rabbits.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
If kids are given no alternatives, they do an amazing job at entertaining themselves without electronics.
Yep. My four year old has mountains of toys, books, activities etc but he won't touch *any* of it if he can have TV on instead. No TV - and it's amazing how productive he is at finding ways to entertain himself, plays, reads, does workbooks, gets out old toys he forgot about, etc.
The TV is just too easy and attractive of an entertainment - you can't expect kids to voluntarily give it up when it's available to them all the time. I'm not anti-TV in the least - it has its place, especially when I need my sanity break , but limits are essential.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:44 PM
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In my experience, TV and other electronics require RADICAL approaches with children because they are addictive period.

I am so convinced of the terrible impact of today's television plus all other electronics on child development that nobody could convince me otherwise, even if they brought a mountain of "research studies" to change my mind.

In our house, I implemented the "no TV at all during the week" rule ever since they were too small to question, whine or fight it.
I knew that if I waited to implement it later, it would be a vicious war.

They do watch a little in the mornings during week-ends...and even then, it frustrates me beyond belief to see what is available on TV for them to watch. I don't always have the time to research just the right movies, documentaries and other valuable programming on the net, ahead of time, so they can be exposed to small doses of good television.
Sometimes I just want to sleep in during the week-ends and since they wake up before me, they grab the remote and watch the general sewage that pretty much ALL today's TV boils down to; it doesn't have to be anything "inappropriate" for children - it's all sewage, including - or especially! - programs made "just for kids".

In general, I would rather have them hear a profanity or "bad word" in a quality adult movie than be exposed to those horrific cartoons or other "children's programs" going 100 miles an hour, making imbecilic sounds especially designed to destroy their attention span, and mouthing off incredibly facile lines or that Disney "attitude" designed to squish their IQ score.

I also implemented the "no video games in this house ever" early on.

I told them to leave any hope at the door for video games as it will never happen - even if 99.99999% of the kid population (which might be everyone minus them) owns video games.
Not if they are good, not if they earn high grades, not after they did their chores or homework, not if they score "gifted".

When there's no hope at all, regardless of what they would do, they let go.

It works.

Last edited by syracusa; 07-25-2014 at 04:54 PM..
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:30 PM
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In my experience, the kids with parents who outlawed tv and video games were the kids who couldn't be coaxed into playing when they visited. All they wanted to do was sit in front the fruit that was forbidden in their homes.
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