We made a startling yet obvious discovery recently: TV is bad for Mapera and going out and doing stuff is good for her.
We had been allowing her to watch up to 1 hour of kids TV every other day or so as a treat, and I was finding she was getting more
difficult in the afternoons and evenings and getting worse as the weeks went by. She was also starting to refuse to do her jobs, and
no amount of threats to remove stories, CDs, TV etc seemed to help.
So, we have a new system: the sticker chart for every day jobs - making her bed, helping to feed the cats,tidying her toys and helping with dishes -
if she does all these things she gets a trip out the next day (playground, park, beach or pool). She also gets bonus points for using her nice voice
all day, listening properly and sitting properly at the table. I also dole out bonus points for other stuff as they come up. The bonus points are added
up at the end of the week, and if she gets 10 or more she gets 1/2 hr TV, 20 or more get an hour.
She is also allowed to watch a kids TV DVD if she stays in her bed all night (except for loo visits), and those don't seem to have such a negative effect.
I think it's cos they are definite, individual episodes with an obvious start and finish, unlike the Disney Channel which seems to be a constant streat of stuff.
Her favourite at the moment is Ivor the Engine :)
We've noticed an improvement in her behaviour already, and we've got out a lot more as a family as a result.