If I would allow it my kiddos would watch TV, play video games or play on the computer all day long. Since, I have started to limit my time with a timer, I decided to do something for the kiddos.
I didn't want a timer as they could easily play with it or loose it and I wanted to teach them responsibility. Using a concept popular with classrooms, I created tickets. Instead of having to earn them and cashing them in for items in a treasure chest or whatever, they are given a certain amount per week. Each ticket is worth 30 minutes and I gave them 8 of them. It is their job to figure out what and when they want to use their tickets. We (parents) still have the veto power to say no, you may not use your ticket. Once the tickets are gone for the week that's it no more.
If chores aren't done or I have to constantly ask for something, tickets are taken away. It's a win win for me. Peanut has been pretty good about turning off the television when the time is up, he is afraid of loosing his tickets.
Back to School Countdown Can. The idea is when they want to use one of their tickets, they have to turn them in and I place them in the cabinet on a hook (out of sight, just in case). On the front is the chalkboard paint and they can write the number of tickets they still have left on the front. On Sunday, they are given all of their tickets back to start the week. We have been doing this for about two weeks now and it has been working fabulously!
Here is the finished product:
These have been a real blessing for my household. Who would have thought a tiny piece of paper would help to eliminate so much confusion and aggravation. How do you monitor the amount of time your kids watch tv, play on the computer or video games.