Monday, September 14, 2009

A Screen Time Money Maker

I saw this idea in the October issue of Family Fun magazine and knew that I wanted to remember it for the future. The basic idea is that you give your child 7 $1 bills for the week. Each $1 bill represents 1 hour of screen time (TV, video games or computer games), and every time they engage in an hour of time, they have to hand over $1. The cool thing about this is that they get to keep the leftover money at the end of the week, which teaches them to discern whether or not they really wanted to watch a certain show or if they wanted to save a little extra money that week. This would really come in handy if your child is at the age where he/she wants to buy things - what a great way to teach money management! Since they obviously can't get a job to earn money, this will show them the value of a dollar in a different way. I'm still trying to figure out how I'll use this concept with two boys. I can hear it now, "But Mom, that was Owen's pick for a show, why do I have to give over a dollar too?" This idea would work great in the vacuum of a one child household, but I'm sure it can be modified to fit your needs too. What do you think? Do you have ideas for how to limit your child's screen time? Are you going to let them watch TV at all? Do you already catch yourself letting them watch too much? (Are you secretly slightly afraid that they are going to start monitoring your screen time when they are old enough to understand this? I am! : ))


Trisha said...

Oh I know I am just months, maybe weeks away from cutting my TV time WAY down! I am guilty of having it on a lot for background noise and Sam is getting to the age where he picks stuff up and repeats everything. As you can imagine...Desperate Housewives would not be the best show for him to start "picking up" on! :) Anyway, right now he watches hardly any TV...maybe a few minutes of show here or there. As he gets a bit older he will probably be able to watch a show a day. Luke and I agree that we will really limit TV, internet, video games, etc. I am not sure what that will look like just yet. AND I am sure that there will be days where Sam watches more than I want...but I will just try to do the best that I can.

theansellfamily said...

This actually sounds like a good idea for my HUSBAND :) He is a video game fiend. He plays every chance he gets. And it is WAY more than 7 hours. I'll have to bring it up with him tonight :)