Successful move and advice needed…

I wanted to update you guys — we moved and it went great. I even have internet now — yippee! The house we bought was bank-owned (someone foreclosed) so it needs work. We’ve had professionals here most business days doing one thing or another. Thankfully, the move has been relatively easy for Charlie because we had prepared him for weeks. The dog has had the hardest time with our new accommodations. I’m left with some questions and I bet you guys know the answers:

1) Our fridge works great, but it is missing one of the plastic produce drawers and some of the plastic holders on the inside of the door. We know nothing about the fridge — anyone have a clue where we could find replacement parts? It’s a GE.

2) The dog has had to learn how to take stairs. We lived in a house with no stairs so this is new for him. ‘Fenway’ has quickly learned how to navigate the exterior wooden stairs, going up and down within 12 hours of moving in. The much shorter, but tile stairs inside the house are still very scary to him. We’ve let Fenway just chill upstairs this whole week, but he needs to be able to go up and down them with ease. The dog wants to be with us at all times so when he’s upstairs and we’re downstairs, he gets nervous. He’s too big to carry every time. Any dog owners out there with suggestions?

3) We got cable TV for the first time in 10 years. Managing Charlie’s TV time now is made complicated by the fact that he has been watching more TV so that we can unpack, etc. He begs for TV before and after he watches TV! I’ve commandeered my timer from the kitchen to regulate how much TV he gets, but we’ve seen a real increase in bad behavior. How do you manage your child(ren)’s TV time?

Thanks (and back to regular posting tomorrow)!

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24 Responses to Successful move and advice needed…

  1. Michelle August 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Look inside your refrigerator at the label to find the model number. You should be able to find parts online once you know the model number.

    • Mrs Q August 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      Thanks — I peeked in there and couldn’t see much, but I’ll look a little closer!

  2. Libby August 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    After we got our new puppy, she was great with the stairs until one night she slipped, then she was afraid to go down anymore. We managed this by bribing her to go down: I stood in front of her so she felt safe, then put a treat on every stair. She would come down, eat it, then go back up. I replaced the treats. I gave her lots of encouragement and kept going, using treats less often on lower stairs.

    If your dog isn’t scared, just wary, a few treats at the bottom and some encouragement might work.

    To prevent future falls, I make sure that the fur between her toes is clipped short (often the groomer will do this between groomings for a small fee) and always turn on the light on so she can see.

    • Mrs Q August 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      Thank you, that’s great advice!

  3. Stepshep August 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Hey! Long time. For the fridge parts have you tried taking a look at https://www.geapplianceparts.com/ ? Find what you need there if possible, then take the part number and do a search for a cheaper option. ie find https://www.geapplianceparts.com/GEApplianceParts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=SPECPAGERESULTS&APPLIANCE_PART_NUMBER=WR32X10337 is what you need, then buy http://www.partadvantage.com/product/GE_WR32X10337

    If that site doesn’t help, maybe reach out to @GE_Appliances, the social media powerhouse that you are I’m sure they’d be glad to help you. 😀

    And now I’m just going to spitball. For the doggie my mind instantly went to bribes. Put little treats on the stairs, as he goes up he finds more treats. I’m sure there’s a sensible way to approach this but if I didn’t want to go up the stairs and suddenly there was some bacon on the stairs (on a plate of course!) I would totally go up the stairs. Are Fenway’s nails groomed recently? I know my guy isn’t a big fan of the pergo if his nails get a bit too long.

    Now the kid! (Red alert everyone: Parenting advice from a non-parent) I personally don’t see the point in trying to ration things. I grew up in a household where TV, candy, etc were free game. These were no longer “special” things that were binged on, but things that were there if I wanted them. When it’s not something being kept away it loses a bit of its appeal. There’s no need for a TV rumspringa. Of course monitor the content, but also try to trust his judgment every now and then about what’s on the TV. Balance should be easier when everything is equal. You can do x,y, or z or maybe a or b. Sometimes TV will be more enticing, other times it will be play time with the dog or at the park or coloring. Just please avoid those TV timer card/box things. I swear they’re the spawn of some dark creature. They almost remind me of electric collars. Just a step too far.

    Okay, so most of this comment was probably useless. But the part about the GE site and that Twitter feed? That was golden. (whew, that took a while)

    • Stepshep August 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

      Also! Congrats on the move. Something like that is always an undertaking.

  4. Donna @ What the Dog Ate August 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Regarding the TV, try PBS. They have (mostly) commercial free programming and the shows are all educational. Like the idea about the timer. Also, since it’s a novelty, he’s probably watching more than he normally would. My kids (5 and 6) tend to turn the TV on (PBS) and then wander away in 10 minutes.

  5. Moria August 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Bad behavior regarding the TV is automatic no tv for a day, two or week depending on the severity and age level. My boys learned quickly not to question me. Also you can have a set time when tv is allowed say 4:00pm. Tell him that tv time will start then as long as you don’t here anything about the tv and his behavior is good during the day.
    If he can’t tell time then put a ‘picture’ if 4:00 next to the clock and when the pictures match then he can politely ask for TV time. Bottom line, stick to what you’ve said. The tv can be great mitivator for getting chores done so use it wisely. 😉

  6. Ashley Byrd August 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Does your dog have eye problems? My husband’s relatives’ dog has some problems with blind spots, so it always makes her nervous going down the stairs. Usually, we have to “sheepdog” her down.

  7. Andrea August 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    1) GE’s website has parts for many of their products. If you can find the model number of the fridge, that will help a ton. The website will often help you figure out where to look for it. We have GE appliances and have had to do this several times, with our fridge and microwave. They even have pictures to help you figure out what it is.

    2) I’ve known folks who have taught dogs to go up stairs by walking up behind them and moving their front paws up the stairs for them. And sometimes then the back ones if the dog doesn’t figure it out and start moving them on its own. It can take a couple of weeks, but they eventually get it.

    3) We struggle with too much screen time with our kids too. We’ve tried a variety of different things.
    1. we’ve given them tickets for 30 minutes of screen time. They get a certain number of tickets per day or per week, and once they’re gone, they’re gone.
    2. we often only allow tv during certain parts of the day, no tv after dinner, for example, except as a special treat.
    3. We require x number of minutes of reading (or other creative activity or outside play) per however many minutes of screen time. It helps balance it out at least.
    4. we explain that tv time is a treat, and not something to be done all the time, like eating cookies or ice cream. If we get too much of any of them, it makes us sick, but a little bit now and then is just fine.
    5. if the kids misbehave or get cranky with us (which often happens with too much tv time) they lose minutes of tv time, or they lose it for the day. (Or they have to hand over a ticket, if we’re using them – we stopped a while ago as they got older, but may have to start up again!)
    6. we’ve let them earn tv time by doing extra chores for us, or when mommy or daddy really need some quiet time.

  8. Elke August 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Our four year old gets to watch some tv each day. We Tivo it so we can skip any commercials (even on PBS). She can watch Dinosaur Train, Curious George, Cat in the Hat (where I think she’s picked up some ideas that led to messes) and Super Why. I agree though, on the days she doesn’t watch any her behavior is better. It’s such a passive activity and she’s a very active kid. Our preschool teacher had a suggestion: tell them at the start of the show that it’s the last one. Remind them of this about five minutes before it is over too and then have something specific they can do — even better if it’s undivided attention from a parent.

  9. Alison August 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    When we moved into our house a couple of years ago, we needed a part for our oven (the little track for the storage drawer at the bottom), and we ordered it from repairclinic.com. Obviously, I don’t know the model number of your refrigerator, but I did go look, and it appears they have a few types of crisper drawers available for GE fridges, so that might be a good place to check!

  10. Ludicrous Mama August 6, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    You could make a TV chart, like a ladder, with the maximum daily allowed time at the top, and have him move a gauge up or down based on behavior. He can earn more time by doing extra, and lose time for bad behavior.
    We’ve had to cut certain shows off completely because she’d start using words from them we didn’t approve of. Mostly Nickelodeon ones. (Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents especially.) She’d stop saying “stupid” within a day of us cutting off the shows, then start up again if I gave in and let her watch them again.

  11. Elizabeth August 6, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    Perhaps try putting a carpet runner down the stairs or some sort of non-slip pads? If he’s fine with the wooden stairs, it might be the slipperiness that is making him hesitant. I also second the vision comment. My older dog has poor vision, so it helps to make sure the stairs are brightly lit and then to walk down right next to her, with the railing on her other side. Perhaps even use his leash to guide/coax him.

  12. Ronda August 6, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    We used to only allow our kids to watch PBS since pretty much everything on there is educational. We did not allow them to watch “word girl” however because there are ‘evil villains’ on that show and what 4 year old needs that?!
    Once they discovered other networks, like Disney, etc. we had to start limiting their TV time. Sadly our ‘limit’ was 2 hours per day! That’s a lot of TV for a kid, but like you said, it gives you time to do other things.
    I guess you could try things like allowing him to watch one show only after he practices his letters or numbers for 15 minutes, or one show after he cleans his room.
    I don’t have the answers, but I sure do feel your pain!

  13. Colleen August 6, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    For the dog, since the stairs are tile putting down some rug pads on the steps or something for him to get some traction, at least at first, should help. Also treats along the path and lots of positivity–good dog, yay, etc should also help.
    Depending on how tall the steps are and how big your dog is, he may just start jumping some of the stairs–my dog did this with a wonky step I had on my outdoor stairs until I finally got it fixed.

  14. Erin August 6, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Has the dog slipped on the tile stairs or are they slippery? You may just need to put something grippy on the stair treads so he feels more secure. As far as tv/iPad time. We use a timer or since we don’t have cable most of what they watch is on netflix so when the program ends tv time is over. If whining ensues then no tv time the next day. We have also had luck with declaring screen free days. As far as entertainment when you need to get things done, buy him a large pad of newsprint paper and a big box of markers, stickers, stencils, stamps, etc…

  15. jums August 6, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    We’re cable free. One of the best things about it is the absence of 24-hour children’s programming. I didn’t realize how horrible it was until we were free of it. I would have never left the house if Disney Channel, Nickolodeon, et al existed when I was young. You can’t just watch one show and turn it off. They show tantalizing promos for new and upcoming shows while the one you’re watching airs. As in, “Hey kids, here’s what you’re going to miss if you turn OFF the tv.” That is literal torment for the TV-philes who could watch forever, which exactly describes my kids.

    Yeah, use timers.

    In our house, the kids can’t do ANY electronics until they’ve practiced piano, done homework, etc. Total electronics time (computer, ipad, TV) can add up to a maximum of one hour (two if you’re horribly ill or there’s unplayable weather outdoors).
    Yeah, enforcement is required. But if we didn’t do this, complete electronics domination of our household would result.

    Our house is also free of game consoles. My son’s 4th grade peers find this HORRIFYING.

  16. Crystal @ Crystal's Cozy Kitchen August 6, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    We moved about a year ago when my son was 2 and a half. I’d have to say that letting him watch TV while I unpacked was wonderful!!! However he did want to keep watching a lot of TV, but after I was done with most of the unpacking I made sure we’d go to the park and play… Or go outside in our yard. Also we made sure to let him know that watching TV was a privilege that could be taken away if he didn’t act nicely about watching it. (Any whining to watch something was not given into.)

    I’ve heard giving ‘tickets’ works, or having a chart that for every ‘x’ number of minutes they watch TV they must spend ‘y’ number of minutes (usually double or triple the tv amount) doing something that is not in front of a screen.
    Good luck ;).

  17. Quiltin' Jenny August 6, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    As for the TV, pick your battles. Nothing is normal right now with the unpacking and new home, so the extra TV watching is not “normal” either. Choose better quality viewing (amen to PBS!) and know that this will resolve itself shortly when the house gets settled and school starts.

    I remember when I was on bedrest with my second baby and had a 19 month old toddler. I felt awful about how much Barney he was watching while I rested. My doctor told me that it was a brief season that only felt long because I was so stressed, and it’s true. Today that toddler is filling out college applications, did great on his AP exams, and is leading the drum line. No sign of too much TV for those few weeks!

    Remember, this too shall pass.

  18. Free~! August 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    I only allow my kids to turn the tv on in the evening at 8pm. They are a little older so they go to bed at 10 during the summer. I don’t have cable though. Just Netflix. They are allowed to choose a movie to watch. After it’s over they do something else until bedtime. Sometimes if we are out after 8 they will choose an episode or two to watch.

    As far as replacement parts I got mine through Lowe’s. They don’t carry them in the store and must be ordered over the phone. The appliance department in the store gave me a phone number to call and order them. I’m sure it can be found online. A little wheel for the dishwasher rack was $70 for 2. Depending on everything you need it may be worth it to buy a new refrigerator.

  19. Katie Liz August 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Well, I’m not a parent, but I spent a lot of time doing respite/habilitation for a little guy who was OBSESSED with TV. (He had several behavioural disorders, so I am not exaggerating.) A solution that worked for us was taking advantage of the DVR to record all of his favourite shows. This took away the “urgency” of watching a show (He learned not to rush through breakfast to watch Sesame Street because he could trust that he could watch the recorded episode later). Recording shows helped him make choices, since he could only watch one 30-min episode at a time. It also broke his habit of watching whatever happened to be on just for the sake of watching TV. I definitely recommend taking advantage of this technology! 😉

    • Katie Liz August 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      Oops! Forgot to mention that DVR also allowed us to fast-forward through commercials, intros, credits, etc. which meant that he only spent 20-ish minutes in front of the TV for a 30-minute show.

  20. Danica August 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    I struggle with tv too. I have found the following perimeters helpful:

    1. No live tv…I really find children watching commercials offensive, and am lucky enough to have an on demand option, I also think it is easy to keep watching and loose track of time when watching live tv. A DVR show has a nice neat ending that makes you think before you put on a new show.

    2. During the week I do not turn on the tv until 4 when I need to make dinner and the kids need some down time. I do not have the tv on after dinner. On the weekend, there may be some bending of the rules…

    4. I give my 4 and a half year old a list of things he has to accomplish before turning the tv on. He gets really excited to cross of the things as he does them. And I feel less guilty when he turns the tv on.

    I also wouldn’t assume the bad behavior is because of the tv. The change in environment due to the move may be affecting him more than anything else. I have not noticed a big change in behavior in my kids…I do think that in an age where a child could have 24 hour screen time it is good to set limits and encourage play. And I think you are a great parent because you are trying to set limits. Good job! : )

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