I hear ya! I have 3 teens of my own and we have similar issues with games, phone and TV. My kids do a lot of homework on the computer too and we find that as long as everything that needs to be done is done ie: homework, chores, other misc responsibilities, behavior, not texting at the dinner table or when I'm talking, ect..ect...and their grades are good, then they can choose what to do in their free time, within reason of course It's hard to argue with a teen period, especially when their doing as their told (most of the time) but when things are not being done or completed without us hassling them then, well, it's fair to just say no even if it's only to one kid. If they can't be "responsible", that goes for healthy living as well, then they don't get the privileges that the other "responsible" kids get.
Also, I find my self just telling the kids "I don't want to hear the TV anymore. Turn on some music."
I do like the idea of the ticket system for doing things without being asked....hmm, I'll have to think about that one
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Thanks to Cooleyfam, we have a workable idea that DH and I want to implement - a ticket system in which kids earn tickets by doing certain things without being asked in which they can redeem for computer/tv/game time or a movie or friends over or or or or or..... We just have a little problem figuring out how to incorporate the two age groups.... mainly how to get this to work for teenagers. Let me explain.
For the two youngest a straight up tickets in exchange for any of the above works. Their friends and such aren't really on the computer or anything. However, the two teenagers lives are the computer and tv .... well let me rephrase that - it's one of their lives and the other it is a large portion of her life but is active and still goes out to hang with her friends riding bikes and such (and is *VERY* healthy). DH is reluctant to put a limit on their computer/tv time for a variety of reasons that are, in my honest opinion, ridiculous BUT this system will not work with only me behind it - I have to have his support for it to work.
He, however, does have one point ...... the teens have to use their computers for a lot of their homework (almost all of it is online) and they can just prolong homework out by socializing while doing homework.
So, in everyone's opinion what are some reasonable amounts of time for a teen to be on the computer and watch tv recreationally? Do you have any suggestions for implementation that is basically the same for both age sets? Cause my tween boy will pitch an ever lovin' fit if it "isn't fair" and I kinda don't blame him ... and of course we have the option of telling the teens ahead of time that their time isn't as strict as what is discussed at the family meeting BUT we do need limits and a way to implement those limits.
Thankfully, the doctor told the not so active teen that she needs to be more active and off the computer and such .... We've been being told she is well within the realm of "normal range" for her age and height - but I didn't believe them and couldn't convince DH and DD that the docs weren't right ... this doc however basically just told her she had to lose at least 12 to 27 pounds (the reason for the 15 pound difference is because she has size double d cup ... and she doesn't know how the weightloss will affect her cup size yet - as she goes in for check ups they'll make the determination of which weight is a good weight for her). Sooooooo this implementation of less screen time for this particular child may be easier than I think it will be!
Sorry for the rambling and the tangents!!
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