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It became apparent we were going to have to set limits on my daughter’s media intake when she began to quote large stretches of television shows, movies and commercials. Not that she watched a lot of television or was on the computer much. She seems to have the ability to remember dialog accurately. But still, we wanted her to have more than mass media in her vocabulary.
The Chip System
A friend of mine introduced me to this system: the child is given a certain amount of chips per week. The chips represent an amount of time, and they can spend them on parent-approved activities, with parental limits.
For example, my daughter is given four chips a week, on Saturday morning. Each chip represents one hour of time. She can use the time for television (limited stations), videos (with approval), computer games, or video games. She may use them when she has free time, but not after bed time, or instead of doing other things like homework or practicing piano.
We did make some exceptions to the rules: she is allowed to watch all the football she wants (my husband’s rule), family movie nights are exempt, and she can use her video player and video game in the car on long car trips (longer than one hour).
The system has been in place for a month, and is working well. It is teaching my daughter how to budget her time, and giving us a firm boundary as far as media. We have been very pleased with the results so far.
Photo by dailyinvention