How to make TV time valuable Family time?

Heidi - posted on 10/29/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi all, I'm a graduate student in sociology focusing on media habits and how they relate to family goals and values. I'm in the process of completing my thesis, the purpose of my study is to understand what families do for entertainment these days and what they are looking to achieve. Specifically, I would love to understand what activities you participate in as family entertainment. What your goals are when selecting family entertainment activities. And how the effective the activities you choose are at meeting those goals.

Can any moms out there help me out?

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Raye - posted on 10/29/2015

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Your subject and your post don't quite say the same things.

If discussing TV time, we try to watch educational shows (Science channel and Discovery) and discuss with the kids what we see and any words/concepts that they don't understand. We try to do this even with cartoons, to choose the less inane shows, and ask them if they understand why/what/how, etc. They usually come back with questions like "wouldn't it be interesting if ___" and we say "yes, that would be cool, but did you think about ___ that might happen if that was the case", and stuff like that. My SS is into the shows about superhero's and we talk to both kids about good and bad and why being the bad guy is bad, and why the good guys should respect laws and not be vigilantes. We try to instill morals.

Regarding other media, we let them play on computer and tablets some, but we also make them do a language lesson first and their score determines how much electronic time they get (failing the lesson gets no play time, a great score gets the max of 30 minutes).

For general entertainment, we try to encourage mental and physical activities. We went to the petting zoo the other weekend and talked about the animals. They had a corn maze set up, so we did that, and discussed the strategy of how to best complete a maze without getting lost or have unnecessary retracing where you've already been. During quiet time, my SD likes to read a lot and do crafts, and my SS enjoys creating Lego empires. My husband will also play guitar for the kids and we encourage their interest in music (SD likes jazz, and SS likes rock). We also read to them almost every night before bedtime to help calm them down for good sleep.

Yes, there are days we kind of veg-out. But generally our goal is to help them understand the world they're living in (while still trying to make it fun) and be confident and prepared to face anything.

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Raye - posted on 10/29/2015

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It varies. If we're watching with them and they have a question, we always answer. If it's a show that doesn't really have much to talk about or a movie they've seen before, then hubs and I might be doing chores or something while they watch. We screen what they're allowed to watch and limit their time on TV/electronics. We also always check in on them and don't rely on the TV to be a babysitter. I know many parents that sit their kids in front of the TV/game system and leave them there unsupervised for hours. That's not us.

Heidi - posted on 10/29/2015

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Thank you Raye! This was very helpful. On the days when you do veg out, do you ever talk about the shows/movies/content you are viewing? Do you always view together on these days, or do you let your SS/SD watch alone?

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