Controlling television and screen time has become a struggle in many households. I spent most of my childhood without cable. The internet did not come into play until I was in high school and my cell phone was a giant brick. Kids today are bombarded with screens and advertisements at every turn. By the age of 2, children are watching an average of an hour of television a day. This doesn't include time spent on computers, smartphones, iPads, and other tablets. With that in mind, it is important that parents take an active role in monitoring and setting limits on their children's screen consumption.
1. We cancelled cable. A few years ago, we decided that we no longer needed cable. Cancelling our subscription immediately saved us money and reduced the number of advertisements that our children saw to almost zero. Even though the only programs they watched were "commercial-free," it was almost impossible to keep them from seeing Disney's latest DVD for sale or the occasional toy. By not seeing commercials for these things, they no longer think they need them. Also, we no longer have the issue of "just one show" running into two or three shows at a time.
2. We set up a stick system to earn time on tablets. Instead of paying our children an allowance for extra chores (which really isn't in our budget right now), we allow them to earn sticks for time on their personal tablets. Each stick represents 20 minutes and it is their responsibility to keep track of them and use them wisely. If they run out of sticks, they cannot use their apps. We also prohibit the use of tablets before school, which makes our morning routine less hectic.
3. We signed up for a streaming service that allows us to easily control television viewing. While we still use other streaming services for adult shows, we were recently introduced to Kidoodle.TV which gives me even more freedom in monitoring viewing for my children because of its kids-only content.
Kidoodle.TV is a safe, ad-free streaming service that provides a selection of new and vintage children's programs. The best part of Kidoodle.TV is that you can fully customize it for each child by age or specific titles. That means that my 8-year-old can get on and watch shows that are geared for his age group and I can put my 3-year-old on his account where he can choose from a few select titles that I've chosen just for him. You can also set time limits ranging from 15 minutes to unlimited viewing so your child's account will shut down when you want it to. I love this service because I don't have to worry about my kids accidentally clicking on a show that is not appropriate for them or switching to adult shows without my knowledge. A 4-digit pass code ensures that each child can only view the titles in their account. This gives me some peace of mind that I can walk out of the room to put laundry away or start dinner without worrying. I can even use Kidoodle.TV on the go!
If you're interested in learning more about Kidoodle.TV, you can check out their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. They are currently hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page - Enter to win one of 3 iPad Minis being given away in March and April by entering here.
Kidoodle.TV is also offering a special discount for Mamas Like Me readers. You can save 25% off a year's subscription to Kidoodle.TV by entering the Code: BLOGHER25 when you check out on their website. This code expires June 30, 2014. Otherwise, it's just $4.99 a month.
We are also partnering with Kidoodle.TV to offer a fun giveaway for Mamas Like Me readers. You can enter to win $100 Visa Gift Card by commenting below and telling me:
What devices do your kids use? Do they have their own or share with the whole family?
(Please be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you if you win!)
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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
- Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
- Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#KidoodleTVBH” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
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- For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 3/17-4/18.
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