Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TV as a Commodity

The economics of making things scarce.

I took 2 economics classes YEARS ago.  Some of the lessons actually stuck with me.  Scarcity for example.  Even perceived scarcity.

All the parenting gurus and books and doctors say that you should limit TV time to 2 hours for young children.  I think this is an excellent idea, I just accomplish it very differently that people expect.

Our TV is tuned to PBS nearly every waking hour.  (Mostly educational cartoons.)  Yet, my children watch their 2 hours or less of TV, because it is not a commodity.  Since it is always available, there is nothing special about it.  It is not a reward or a treat.  It is not something they have to work for or beg to get. Instead they beg to turn off the tv and listen to music.  I LOVE that!

TV is not scare, so they don't care about it.  Computer time is a different story right now.  Ginger loves playing games on the computer.  She only has a small windows of opportunity because she does not have her own.  When her chance comes up, she stares and gets obsessed and distracted and nothing else matters.  

Sugar gets no computer time, so she is always wanting to play on the iPad.  She is very good at the touch interface, but the keyboard and mouse are just a tiny bit beyond her.  I'm just not ready to prove that she could figure it out if I allow her a chance.

I am thinking out scheduling computer time in the future, because there are 2 children and not enough computers for everyone.  Some things are just scarce because of having to share with a sister.  Thus my children will learn about scarcity too.

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