Like many parents, I am concerned with ensuring my kids spend their time on productive endeavors, or at least homework when they have it. But, like when I was a kid, I found they often spend hour upon hour in front of the TV, either watching endless (repeat) episodes of “Cat Dog”, “Sponge Bob”, or playing some overly violent video game (no I don’t buy them these, but they invariable get them as gifts).
Originally, I tried to control their time in front of the boob tube, by having a single television in the house. But then, the arguments began. (Actual Dialog and I quote)
“Mom, Maggie has watched her Powerpuff Girls for two hours, it is my turn ”.
To which, the offending party almost always retorts with a “Nuh huh, I’ve only been watching for 45 minutes, and yesterday Peter was on the TV all day”.
“THAT WASN’T ME, THAT WAS CHRISTOPHER!”.
“I WASN”T WATCHING, I WAS DOING MY HOMEWORK, AND ONLY HAPPENED BEING ON THE COUCH NOT WATCHING”, and so on.
Never mind, I’ve seen every episode of Sponge Bob, more than 2-3 times. The threat of No TV, is a hollow one at best, unless you want to watch your kids watching TV (e.g. yes, our kids don’t always listen to us).
Enter THE Bob… The equalizer TV Based Anarchy
Unfortunate name, as Bob was my Dad’s name, the most patient and kind father one could every wish for. THE BOB, is the opposite of this. It rules TV time as a tyrant, turning off the TV exactly when the kid’s two hours of watching time is over. No getting around THE BOB.
Every one has a password. You can set total hours per week (such as 8 hours/week, which I do not recommend, as yes, I have seen one of our kids exhaust 8 hours in a single setting). You can also indicate allowable hours per day, such as 1 or 2. This works better. That is until, they realize, you can (of course) sit on the couch and continue to watch the TV when someone else is logged in. Yes (gasp), multiple people watching TV at once! You can also, disallow watching TV before of after certain hours. I will say, it did create more harmony, as BOB united the kids against his tyrannical rule, and coordinated times to still get their 3-4 hours/day. And yes, just set their hours to 1/day, and that will take care of that harmony.
We also were able to back-up our empty punishments of “No TV”, “No Video Games”, thanks to THE BOB. It works well. The kids reduced their TV watching considerably (easily by 50%). Make sure not to be a softy (cough, cough, Licia), and give into the “My time is up and I’ve done all my homework, can you put in more time?”. Or the more creative “BOB isn’t giving me the full two hours”.
Be strong. Let BOB be the bad guy. It works, and works well.
You can find this on Amazon for $89.00.
Let me know if you buy one.