Tag: TV

Dear Kerry: “Unwinding After School”

Dear Kerry,

My first grader really needs some “down time” when he gets home from school or else he falls apart if we do any other activities. I’ve started letting him have half an hour to curl up and watch a show. It seems to be helping. Any reason that I shouldn’t be letting him do this?

Regards,
Karen

 

Dear Karen,

I’m glad that you can recognize that your son does best when he has some down time after school! That’s great. What I would suggest is that you expand the ways that you encourage him to “unwind.” If you always let him watch TV, then it’ll likely become a pattern that could stick with him into adulthood. The downside of watching a show to unwind is that when we watch, we turn off our brains. We get to stop feeling and thinking. That’s why we like it! But that is so limiting.

I’d rather see your son have an “Unwind Box” with options he can choose from. Imagine if each day, he picked a different way to unwind after school. Here are some possibilities:

  • Write “TV” on a tennis ball
  • Music: put in an iPod or something for him to listen to and possibly sing along with, music.
  • Art: put in various art supplies such as playdough, stuff for drawing or painting.
  • Sports: how about a few balls that he can throw outside, throw in his room, a ball to shoot baskets, a photo of the trampoline to go jump?
  • Cooking: For an older kid, you could put a measuring cup in which gives permission for him to bake or cook for pleasure.
  • A stuffed animal to represent that you will snuggle with him that day.
  • Books
  • Puzzles
  • Mazes
  • Building toys
  • Figures for imaginary play

If he gets to (or has to) select from all these options for how he unwinds, you will be raising a kid who can feel relaxed and happy doing a wide variety of activities. He will be much less likely to be addicted to watching screens or playing video games as his way to tune out and shut out the world.

 

Kerry Stutzman, MSW, LMFT
©2017 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, LMFT, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

“I Want What’s On TV!”

 
IWantThatonTVMy 4 year old son wants everything he sees on TV so the other day when he said “Mom, I want that!”  I used my “brain dead skills” and replied, “I know.”   He finally stopped asking after 4-5 times of me saying “I know.”

Then Daddy came home from work and my son looked at his daddy and said “Daddy, I want that on TV!”

My husband replied “I know, buddy.”

My son looked at him with wide eyes and said “Daddy, you can’t use the same words Mommy uses!!”

I guess he’s figuring out that limits are getting firm around our house with both Mom and Dad!  It felt good to set the limit in a loving way and I didn’t have to hear him whine about it!

Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Some Thoughts on Video, Games, Computer Games, and TV

 

Over the past two decades, video and computer games have become dramatically more fast-paced, realistic, and stimulating.

Not long after their introduction, I began to suspect that these games had the same addictive potential as drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Today, family therapists and researchers have confirmed my fears. Listed below are some tips for helping your child avoid getting hooked:
Don’t allow your child to have a computer in their room.

Allow them to play these games no longer than thirty minutes per day.

If your child becomes sneaky, non-compliant, or defiant about this time limit, remove this privilege.

Children birth to six should spend no time playing these games, watching videos, or viewing television.

So-called “educational” games, videos, and shows are no substitute for real-life learning activities, involving movement, problem-solving, and human relationships.


Dr. Charles Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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The Love and Logic™ Vaccination Plan

Our world is getting more complex and dangerous for kids every day. How do we best protect them so that they will survive?

Resist the urge to overprotect!

Like vaccinations for physical disease, parents who apply Love and Logic allow their kids to develop decision-making “antibodies” by being exposed to plenty of small temptations, by being allowed to make plenty of small mistakes, and by being loved enough to be held accountable for their poor decisions.

It makes sense that if our child is about to run into a busy intersection or jam a fork into an electrical outlet, we’re going to step in. But how do we respond when the temptations they face have much smaller, more affordable price tags?

Lucky is the child whose parents are brave enough to let them make the mistake of wasting their allowance on bubble gum. Even luckier is the child whose parents also hold them accountable by refusing to give in when they beg for more cash.

Lucky is the child whose parents are brave enough to let them make the mistake of watching TV instead of finishing their science fair project. Even luckier is the child whose parents love them enough to resist the urge to do the project for them.

Yes! Lucky indeed is the child who understands through experience that every decision has its consequences.

Thanks for reading.

Dr. Charles Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Limit Screen Time and Encourage the Act of “Doing” with Your Child

What does your child ask when bored? Is it, “I’m bored. What can I do?” or is it, “I’m bored. What can I watch?”

If it is the latter, you are raising a future watcher, not a future doer. And if this is the case, my heart goes out to your child. Becoming a watcher is not a recipe for future happiness and productivity.

Brain research shows that the brains of doers and the brains of watchers are different as a result of the way that person spends his/her time.

Do your kids a big favor and restrict electronic entertainment to 30 minutes per day. Turn your child’s bedroom into a bedroom instead of a multi-media entertainment center.

Take the TV out of the child’s room, and put the computer in a public area of the house. This is not illegal. It is the act of a responsible parent. If you have any doubts, read the works of researchers such as Dr. Stanley Greenspan.

When your child complains about this, answer with, “I know it’s hard, but I’m your parent. It’s my job.”


Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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