Friday 7 September 2012

Battles Over The TV!

This summer it has become apparent that eldest at aged 5 and a half has fully outgrown CBeebies and has now well and truly moved onto CITV. Rather than Charlie and Lola, and Balamory, eldest's new favourites now include Horrid Henry and Horrible Histories. She is growing up! Meanwhile, the three year old is still in love with CBeebies, listing Show Me Show Me and Ra Ra amongst her favourite shows.

Not that my kids watch masses of TV, but eldest's new found appreciation of CITV presents a small problem in our family as it now means that inevitably the battle over supremacy for the main TV has begun. Not content to take it in turns flitting between watching TV via the computer and the main TV, if one of the girls is watching their programme on the TV, the other one will be wanting to watch what they want at the same time, and inevitably, a fight screaming match disagreement soon ensues over who should get to watch the TV, often leading to tears and tantrums, with both sides hoping I will side with them.

When I was a kid we had one semi-decent monstrosity of a TV in our house and a crackly black and white small TV with hardly any signal in the kitchen. Kids TV programming was only on for a few hours of the day, we didn't get cable until my teens and the internet was none existent. When I tell my kids this, it absolutely blows their minds - what no big flat screen? No colour TV in more than one room? No all day Cbeebies? No Iplayer? No TV on the internet?. It is so hard for my kids to comprehend that once upon a time, you would have only had limited access to TV in the house and no TV on the go via mobile phones!

When I was growing up, I remember that there was always a fight in our house over who would be able to watch what they wanted on the TV. Although I'm sure that they would have you believe otherwise, I am pretty sure that my siblings mostly won the battle for the TV and I would either have to video mine, or hope that I might catch the last ten minutes, or a repeat at some point. So really, my kids really don't know how lucky they are to have alternative options!

Really, my kids should be grateful that they have a whole host of devices and ways to watch their programmes, but there is still a battle whenever they want to watch something different to each other. Eldest thinks that the TV should be hers after school as youngest has access to the TV in the day whilst she is at school. Youngest wants something to entertain her after school as many of the CITV shows go over her head. Sometimes I can appease one by letting them watch TV on my ipad, but most of the time its the big screen they want! We have a no TV before school rule, and we have tried no TV after school, but all kids need down time and inevitably, there will always be times when they fight over the TV,  we just need to find a solution that works for both of them!

So I would like to know.... How does it work in your house? Who gets to watch what and how do they watch it? Do you have a rota? Or do you just let them fight it out amongst themselves? I would love to hear!

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