What to do when you notice your Toddler watching too much tv?

Latisha - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 47 moms have responded )

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I love the fact that my two year old loves to sing and repeat everything that he hears. But I dont like the fact that all he wants to do is watch tv. He's my only child, he doesn't go to daycare, so he's use to playing by himself. What else can I do to make things better for my son?

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Ashley - posted on 02/04/2010

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I no how it is i work full time so by the time i get home im exhasted i turn on the tv and we relax i make dinner give him a bath and off to bed it seems like all are time involves tv so now i dont turn it on on weekends or at lest i try not to but now he dosent want to watch it or for me ether he shuts it off and drages me off the couch to play lol i think are roles are reversed lol. Try finding things he can do himself other then tv like painting or building forts all things u can do with him as well but if u need time to do school work u need to. Try making a time chart so he can see when hes alowed to watch tv when its time to go outside eat bath mabey he wont fight u so much if there are other things to do. Good luck

Janelle - posted on 02/04/2010

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hey Latisha, i'm a mum of 3 kids and i too a still trying to get this parenting thing right. all my kids are so different in personality so you have to figure which techniques work best for which child. i too have a 4 yr old son obsessed with tv and play station and i do spend all of my time with him , in the end i have set rules down regarding tv and playstation. Things like one hr at a time unless movie, not before lunch time, do chores first, not when appropriate to play outside, etc and even though hes only 4 he understands the concept of rules etc. dont ever let other mums make you feel bad about what your doing - if your here asking questions - your doing great

TATIANA - posted on 02/04/2010

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HEY GIRL I KNO WHAT U MEAN .. I JUST SHUT THE TV OFF AND THROW A BUNCH OF TOYS ON THE FLOOR AND I TELL ME KID ITS TOO BAD BUT YOUR NOT WATCHIN TV . YOU JUST HAVE TO PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN CAUSE IF NOT THEYLL WALK ALL OVER YOU . GOOD LUCK !=)

Jennifer - posted on 02/04/2010

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It's easy to say go outside, but when you live in the North it's not always ideal weather. When it's 28 out and windy and icy it's not exactly the best for babies. I'd love to be outside as I'm sure a lot of us would. Even when we can get outside it's only 20 min or so as to not get chapped cheeks and frozen fingers. :)

Adrienne - posted on 02/03/2010

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You could take him to story time at the library and you could study while he is listening.

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Allie - posted on 02/28/2011

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You could turn on some fun music, dance and play while listening to it. You could read books... go to a library story time..

Make homemade play dough together, just keep him busy and distracted and he'll forget about tv for a bit.

I only let my son watch the equivalent of 2 hours a day (if that... and mostly only on bad weather days) I try and get him outside as much as possible which is hard during bad weather... but there are huge indoor bounce house things that are really inexpensive and other fun things we can do inside that are fun!

And I know that several churches in my area have a mother's day out program, that you can send your child once a week for a few hours to get them socialized with other kids.

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My daughter has this new OBSESSION with winnie the pooh. we have a movie that she HAS to have on in her playroom. she sings the songs and says cute things like "uh oh rabbit!" But she LOVES it. she has NO interest in ANYTHING else but Pooh.
you're not alone.

Deepti - posted on 02/24/2011

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since your 2 year old is the only child, he does not what to do... its YOU who will ashow him the way to meet the world, take him to zoo, park or make him join some play group.. that way he will come out of his shell...if he is extremely reluctant and shy then the info at following link will help you a lot:

http://perspectiveofdeepti.blogspot.com/...

Christine - posted on 02/23/2011

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I am going through this SAME thing. My husband was deployed for 7 months, and I ended up using the tv a a babysitter. I needed time to clean, cook, or just SIT, and now that my husband's home, my son is old enough to through a tantrum if I don't let him watch tv. He's not glued to it, but he plays while he watches it. Even if I turn the music channel on, he knows it's not "his" shows and then it starts. We do preschool at my house 3 days a week, and that's a fight oto get the tv off even then with people and other toddlers over! So know that you aren't alone. But I think if we both work to find other things for them to do (which I'm slowly finding more and more...) that maybe we can get them to kick this tv addiction!

Robertdia - posted on 02/08/2010

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everyone is entitled to their opinion but for my son, school really help him out he has homework and loves doing it. being around other children taught my son alot i too couldnt afford daycare but i search around and found one that i could afford he is learning spanish it gave him time away from me and his sisters this is his time his sisters are much older than him so no children in the house just adults

Elizabeth - posted on 02/06/2010

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I was having the same problem. My son is the only child and does not go to day care. I now limit his tv time. At times I just don't turn it on, he may ask to watch but I say no. We coloring and make crafts. Getting him to help me with simple chores and simple cooking. I am also in school and the only time I can study is when he is alseep. Try your local rec center for toddler classes. I

Adrienne - posted on 02/06/2010

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Don't worry about your child playing with other children right now. Children his age are too young to und erstand the concept of playing together. If you observe babies playing, you will see that they play by themselves even in a group. You are actually his best playmate, because you interact and teach him. Plus, it doesn't take a lot of money. Kids love empty boxes, wooden spoons, tupperware, etc. Just talk, talk, talk to him as you go about your day and read to him at least once a day and he will learn so much.

Latisha - posted on 02/06/2010

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I would love to put my son in daycare for a couple of hours so he can get used to playing with other kids, but my husband and I are barely making ends meet right now, we can't afford another bill. But if I had the money, he wouldn't be there long because I dont want my baby gone from me for a long time. I guess i"m just protective, but thats just how I am. I have started turning the tv off and playing with him and singing the ABC's and all that stuff, and I feel better about myself, and I can tell that he's learning. I thank you all for you suggestions. They really work. :)

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robertdia- my daughter does not go 2 school/nursery and i can tell u she has a few freinds, is very clever, and sociable, and that is due to me, playing wit her, teaching her things. so i dont think u HAVE to put a child in daycare but thats just my opinion.

Kasey - posted on 02/05/2010

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I only wish my son would watch t.v. :) But I would just suggest other options when u think he has had enough t.v. maybe an activity that will keep his attention also.

Adrienne - posted on 02/05/2010

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You do not put your child in school or daycare because he watches too much TV. You are the parent and you need to establish reasonable rules now or he won't listen to you as he gets older. The best thing is to establish a schedule that includes an afternoon nap. Kids thrive when they have a predictable routine, they need lots of sleep, and you need time to study. Also, put him to bed at 7 everynight and then study. By giving yourself the afternoon and evening to study you can free up yourself during the day to play and interact. Good luck.

Robertdia - posted on 02/05/2010

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it is so time to put him school he needs to be around other kids and start learning my son didnt go to daycare until he was 2 and half and since he has been there he has learned so much when he was at home all he did was watch tv and play alone he really loves school thats all he talks about my son was very bored when he was at home

Ashley - posted on 02/05/2010

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I have a 2 year old daughter and she loves watching tv also. I'm not worried about it. It's good when you have something you need to get done. Most children show's are educational. So you shouldn't worry too much. He's learning. Just get your work done while he watches tv. It'll get him out of the way for a little. Then when you take a break or you're done then turn the tv off and do something with him. Color with him. Show him how to draw circles (my daughter loves that.) Take him for a walk and explain what some things are. Like tree, sky, grass, green, red, car. Or take him to the park. There he can play and get his energy out. And also get a chance to play with other children.

Shannon - posted on 02/05/2010

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is he a visual learner? Than make it as learning oriented as possible ... my son is an addict but he watches only learning programs and once in awhile a disney movie,but i take a little time to go on pbskids.org and he loves the games on there it breaks up the day,he just turned 3...so its also become easier to turn off now that he is more into his toys..but good luck and again as long as its toddler programs don,t worry do as much as you can with what you have

Latisha - posted on 02/04/2010

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Thank you all for the advice, I'm trying all these suggestions and I can already see a change in him...He didn't really look for the tv being on today!!!
Janelle, thank you so much for the advice, and encouraging words. Believe me, I won't allow anything negative get to me. I hope this site never comes to that, but you never know. If I ever receive anything bad, I will remember what you said. Thanks again :)

Kristen - posted on 02/04/2010

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right on jenifer...its been below zero where i live with windchill..... advisories for less then 5 minutes of outside time basically walk to the car. we are lucky to have childrens museums around where I live..... I like to turn on the music channels and also "power point" that was i have the control of the tv. i let my daughter watch her dora. but that is about it. my best friend plops her kid in front of the tv all day...from 4 till bed time and all day on the weekend...its disgusting and literally her nose is to the screen. that child is unruly and obnoxcious. my daughter listens and has manners...please thank you and your welcome. it takes time....but its worth it. we color, do crafts, stickers on paper for fine motor.....talk to one another....cuddle and read....so many things to do....but it sounds like you are doing what you can and bettering your self at the same time....

Jennifer - posted on 02/03/2010

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Latisha, You're a great mom. Finishing school is one of the best things you can do for your son. Way to go girl! Def look at your schedule and make sure not to overwhelm yourself. But, getting out to things like indoor playgrounds (call your local recreation department), libraries (they have story times just for toddlers), walk through the mall etc, all good for you and him. And maybe you can get longer naps out of him which will give you more time for yourself. And these are all things to do with him where you are there and you don't have to worry if someone is mistreating him.

Latisha - posted on 02/03/2010

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haha! Beck, I like that, I will def. try that whenever Isaiah starts messing with the tv. Right now, he'll hand me or his father the remote while saying thank you. lol

Thank you so much ladies for the advice, keep em coming! lol I took Isaiah out today because it was pretty decent, the snow melted and it wasn't too cold. He really enjoyed playing around, I chases him around a lil bit too. I really needed the exercise and I know he really enjoyed me today as well. I love my little man soo much.
Thanks again!!!

Beck - posted on 02/03/2010

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Hi Dana, You made the comment that your Daughter can now turn the tv on herself, I wrote power point, but should have clarified, I meant take the plug out at the power point, and then when she decides to turn on the tv herself, you can say "oh only mummy can turn tv on now" :) (dont let her see that you have done this though, and she wont know then how to get the tv back on if you really want to prevent her watching at times..

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Hi Latisha... I also have an almost two year old... I would reccommend like the other mums turn the tv off and put on cd's a mixture of your music aswell as your sons and that way he can still sing but it is just not a picture there with the words.. If you need to do school work put him with you with some crayons so he can do some drawing ( a little hint make sure they are washable) Both my kids will crack up when i turn the tv off but once i put something else infront of them the do forget the tv and look at setting up a routine maybe 1/2 hour or so in the morning so you can get some stuff done then turn it off and pull out toys for him to play with.. maybe a little more after his nap while he is waking up properly... that way he gets an idea it's a routine... My kids are now into things like duplo and what i do is not have all the toys out all at once.. I put them in tubs and rotate them through so they don't get bored.. Just a couple of tips and honey you can't get it wrong as long as he is loved, cared for, time is spent with him, protected and nutured you are doing it right.. Ease up on yourself and enjoy your time with him they grow so quickly.

Marlizet - posted on 02/03/2010

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Developing your child's fine and gross-motor skills at this age is very important. Schedule at least 30 min in the morning to do one of the two if not both with him. His attention span is not much more that that. Yes, I also agree with the others, turn off the TV. You are the mom. He will find something to keep himself busy with. I also have an only child turning 4 soon and he is only now discovering TV and he has developed the wildest imagination. He is also VERY good at entertaining himself.

Martha - posted on 02/03/2010

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Play with him,visits friends with kids so he can migle with other toddlers.

Anna - posted on 02/02/2010

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i feel da same about my daughter but maybe try taking him out, or playing with hi, offer him other activities instead of tv try finding playmates its hard because i dont have a car to go anywhere and its cold outside burr...i dont think its good to watch too much tv either try getting him involved in more books or toys

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Latisha! I can totally relate to you! Good job and keep up the good work! P.S. My 16 month old daughter is able to turn the TV on herself now....hahaha! I'm in trouble now...

Marcy - posted on 02/02/2010

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Latisha-
Kuddos to you for staying home with him. My son is at school (he is 3 1/2) full time and by the end of the weekend I am exhausted. Work is actually a break for me :) Its hard to be an activity coordinator, house manager, meal planner, laundry folder etc and go to school. We go outside a lot for playtime and also, I just started printing out games from the NIck Jr. website.

One fun thing we do is we go on safari walks. We take pictures of things with the digital camera and then print them out and put them in a cheapo photo album. Its fun, good exercise and gets us out of the house. We also have a rock garden and we paint them and put them around the yard...when it rains out the paint washes off and we have to start all over again. I never in a million years thought I would actually use my degree in Creative Writing after I graduated...then I became a mom. Keep smiling...you are awesome!

Maggie - posted on 02/02/2010

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Have set times he can watch tv...usually no more than about an hour a day at that age. Make sure he has plenty of other activities to keep him busy. Try getting him legos or play dough or crayons - things that will keep him occupied and help him learn. Also, make sure you're spending lots of time with him.

Veronica - posted on 02/02/2010

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Start having activities outside. He will do the same activites as you do. So turn off the TV and go outside.

Latisha - posted on 02/02/2010

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Thank you Beck, it's really nice to hear that you're doing something right once in a while. I"m motivated to try all the new things that you guys has suggested for me. I hope you all have a wonderful day!!!!

Beck - posted on 02/02/2010

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Latisha, You sound like a lovely Mother, and if more Mothers were as concerned, caring and honest as you, it would make for a much better world. The fact that you completely understand that taking it one day at a time is neccessary and that you have an instinctive guard makes you already a very wise Mother. :D

Latisha - posted on 02/02/2010

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I am hard on myself, because I really want to get things right for him. This parenting, isnt' like school. You dont read a book (which they are helpful) and then automatically have all the information you need to pass. Every child and parent is different, so you just have to take it one day at a time. I really like this site though, I love getting the ideas from parents that have been there before. I try to ask my mother about things, she's helpful at times, and then other times, I just confused. lol I just want to do the right thing.

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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You are obviously a caring, concerned, and loving parent Latisha. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Latisha - posted on 02/02/2010

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Amanda, I will definitely look into the libraries in my area. Money is hard to come by since my husband and I are full time students. Thank you so much.

Latisha - posted on 02/02/2010

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Yes Amanda, he loves his shows, and we have dvr, and if I'm watching a recording, and it ends, and when the regular tv pops on and its one of HIS shows, Boy watch out! lol
I'm glad that he watches those shows, it give me a little break, and he learns to sing and count and say his ABC's. But him getting upset whenever he doesn't have his way, is just ridiculous, but that's children for you.

Thank you so much Beck Amy
I have to admit, that the reason why I never left my son with people is because when I was younger, I was mistreated by my babysitters and I never said a word to my mother, I was too scared. I know my son needs to interact with other children because when I do leave him with my parents, he cries for my husband and I for a while. I do need to get over my trust issues, but then at the same time, I'm glad that I have my guard up because there are some crazy people out there. But you brought up some good suggestions, I never thought about turning the tv off whenever he eats. I feel like I'm doing a poor job with him, so I thank you for everything.

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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I turn the tv off. Also play groups help. I found a couple free ones near our home local libraries are good resources. TV sucks our energy out. I also have a rule no tv before 1030am. sometimes it doesn't even get turned on. If I turn it on when we first wake up its like we have no energy for anything else. I am realistic about the fact that you are not going to be on the floor 12 hours a day playing. It gets boring

Beck - posted on 02/02/2010

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You know its great that your son doesn't just sit there watching but actually interacts with what he is viewing. Being an only child and playing by himself may make him feel a bit lonely, and having the tv on gives him a much larger 'play group', Its like inviting a room full of people into your loungeroom, whom are all interested in doing all the fun stuff your son enjoys. If you feel the need to limit his tv viewing, I sugest doing it at times when you are available, when you have guests over (other play dates) and while feeding your son (eating). The last one is to form good habits that you will not need to break when you are prepairing him for school later on. There are many other things that could substitute a tv eg: childrens music, interactive toys, story times, puppet shows (performed by parents), and interactive learning systems (leap frog books, my 1st laptop). Being a busy Mother and only having 1 child in the house can be more demanding then having a few as they manage to entertain each other, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to maybe start playdates for your son or even taking him to a play group for a couple of hours a week, also allowing you to get some study time in or get on with things.

Amanda - posted on 02/02/2010

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oh I see my older ones had fav shows, when that show was off, tv got turned to mommy shows or turned off. Some of those shows online are actually educational. My oldest learn spanish, from tv, but I would for sure limit it.

Latisha - posted on 02/02/2010

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Thank you so much Amanda.

Lianne, You are very blessed to have a child that doesn't love the tv so much. I guess I should have been more specific. He wasn't always like that, but once he started getting into Dora and little Einsteins, I guess he started thinking that the tv belonged to him. It doesn't matter where we go, he feels like he should watch what he wants. I know that I need to get down and play with him, and I do, but it gets kinda hard with all of my school work since I'm trying to graduate in May. But thanks again, I will continue to try to read to him, and yes we take him to the park, but my husband and I could do that more with him. He's two and I"m still trying to get this mother role right.

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hi, i have my tv on nearly all day, but not just kids shows i hav music on so my daughter and me can dance, my daughter isnt really intrested in tv i wish she was lol.
so its not a problem for me.

but maybe u could turn the tv off and play wiv toys/books, maybe play in a room where there is no tv so he forgets about it, go for walk, do u take him 2 playgroups?? me and my daughter r at home i dont work and she doesnt go 2 nursery, but i take her 2 playgroups, park, feed the ducks.

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