I'm so glad to have stumbled upon Times up kidz. It has made computer time with my kids SO much easier.
I was having a lot of problems getting my kids off the computer. Maeven would get up early and be on already when I got up...and stay on, resisting all my attempts to get my own time to check my email and such. There were days she would keep putting me off and staying on for a good 3 hours or more! It made quite a grouchy morning environment...and Tyren would stay on as long, but would also have the same problem getting off the computer when I asked him too.
So I went googling. I knew there were programs like this, but hadn't ever looked into it. Found Times Up Kidz and after an initial rough patch in adjusting to it...all is well on the homefront!
I even have it set up so that my own time is limited. I have us all set to only be allowed 1 hour at any sitting, maximum. For the kids, they have to then be logged off at least 1 hour before they can get back on again (allowing someone else a turn, without any fighting over it.) And I have it set to a total maximum of 2 hours per day for the kids.
For me, I have the 1 hour maximum in one sitting, but only 5min in between...it forces me to come out of my computer trance and take some responsibility and get my butt in gear to get off the computer and go do something else. I don't have a limit on my own total daily time on the computer, though...there are many many times throughout the day that I need to go look something up quickly or whatever...and frankly, I don't really care about the total amount I spend on the computer, so long as its not at the expense of my family. I spend quite a few hours at night after everyone is in bed on the computer (I log onto the admin side to do that because then I don't get booted off in the middle of playing Toontown...and since no one's awake to need my attention, it works.) And I'm ok with being on a lot...because I use it for so very much.
Anyway, this system has really worked well for all of us!
Not only that but I discovered that my TV also has a shut-off timer! Purely by accident. I kept noticing the dvd/vcr shutting off periodically...finally figured out that it had a timer on it. I found the settings for it and its set to go off every 2 hours. I wish it had lower options, but it doesn't. And frankly, I probably would just turn it back on again if I had it set lower. So 2 hours in one sitting seems good to me.
It's cool because often times we don't even notice right away that the TV shut off. Later I'll be like "oh, its off" LOL! So we obviously are not riveted to it every second its on.
Anyway, I still want to wean us off of the TV more, but for now I have enough other things to think about. One being the maintenance of the house.
I'm reading a book call The House that Cleans Itself, which I learned about from someone else's blog (can't remember which one). Don't know yet if it will change our lives and our home...but its pretty darn good so far. I like that its different than most all the other stuff I've read out there. Still working my way through reading about her system...and I'm already eager to start...but I want to read the whole thing first and see if I think its a system I could do.