Tips and Tricks in Adoption and Pediatrics

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Tickets for TV Time

One nice way to limit TV time with some degree of child autonomy and delayed gratification. You can download stylish 30- and 60-minute denominations here.

Parent Hacks: Real-world parenting tips from real parents

Mel came up with a brilliant way to put her kids in charge of monitoring their own screen time:

I got tired of being the boss of when my kids (three and five) could watch videos and DVDs. I also wanted to help them learn to make choices about media consumption while they’re still young. So I decided to set up a ticket system.

Every Friday, they each get tickets (purple for one kid, green for the other) that can be redeemed for ½ hour of “TV” time. I keep them on the fridge, so the kids can access them easily. They rip one off when they would like to watch something and give it to me. I always say yes, unless there’s a reason that it absolutely can’t work (like we need to leave in 15 minutes, or someone absolutely needs to use the computer). I want to give them the experience of making their own choices and practising delayed gratification. Whatever tickets haven’t been used at the end of the week are deposited into a “book bank,” where they magically transform into $1 per ticket that can be spent on books, which we would have been spending anyway. (Goes a long way at our local thrift store!)

We started up this system about five months ago, and it has worked wonderfully in our house. I don’t get nagged about “TV,” they’ve learned to think through their choices, feel a sense of control and empowerment… and the joy of having their very own books. Everybody’s happy!