After years and years of not having a working television in the house, we have finally surrendered to the three major networks plus public television, courtesy of the handy-dandy rabbit ears over the very outdated set we inherited from the neighbors. It might as well be 1984 around here.
Before you gasp in admiration (or simple shock) let me assure you our kids have missed not one beat of popular culture over the course of their collective childhoods. Every show they could ever pine for is available in one form or another online (see veg out session above), and they have spent hours catching up on every episode on whatever is the latest and greatest according to the playground digerati.
Now that we have real TV, however, I'm feeling more of a need to control or limit their access. Online if they want to watch hours and hours of WordGirl, I'm delighted since I figure they're learning something. But an hour's worth of commercials in between Saturday morning cartoons? Not so much.
What are your strategies for limiting screen time at your house? Do you make a differentiation between TV and computer time? How do you handle advertising and how much exposure your kids have to media messages?