Do you battle with screen time? You know it can be a valuable tool, but on the other hand, it isn’t as interactive and exploratory as other activities. Screen time rarely consists of physical activity, so there’s a natural pull as a parent to limit the hours allowed in front of a TV or computer in each day.
Saying no to TV requests in our house almost always ended in fits, crying, and time outs. I gave in more times than I care to admit because I just didn’t have the energy to fight the coveted TV. At 3 years old, Little Miss doesn’t have the ability to understand different units of time. Saying she only has two hours of TV time each day means very little. We needed something tangible.
It started out simple. I took three pieces of notepad paper, wrote “TV” on the blank side, and put them on the fridge with a magnet. Voila! She can see how many TV tickets she has. If she’s used them all and then asks to watch something, we just have to ask her, “Do you see any TV tickets on the fridge?”
When she’s used a ticket, I put it in a drawer right next to the fridge. There was a bit of a learning curve that no, you can not take tickets out of the drawer to use again on the same day. Now, the system is a nice, well oiled machine, mashaAllah.
In general, movies are two tickets and TV shows are one ticket. This way, even if Little Miss watches a movie, plus a TV show, she doesn’t watch any more than two hours of TV. I can live with that. Alhamdulilah, now that it’s nice enough to play outside, requests for screen time have dramatically decreased. As she gets older, my hope is that she’ll learn how to budget her TV time and build the life skill of self control and delayed gratification. All in due time, in sha Allah.
On to the printable! I’ve included 6 TV tickets, and 12 labels you can use for DVD/Blu-Ray cases. If you’re like us, you have some TV shows, or 30 minute movies on DVD, so it is helpful to be able to label how many tickets each item will use. You can laminate the tickets, to keep them looking nice longer, too! Print out as many as you need, and if you’d like to share this with friends and family, please send them a link to this post so they can get it themselves. Jazak Allah khair! (May God grant you with goodness!)
This post is linked up across the web!