Does anybody else have trouble keeping their toddler away from the tv?

Peggy - posted on 01/16/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )




I am a SAHM with a bright little 2yr 7 month old boy. I find it difficult to keep his attention away from the tv. He has so many toys inside and outside the house. I try to play with him as much as possible, im always trying to teach him new games or read books or do crafts. But after 5 minutes he is bored and says he would prefer to watch tv. I persist for a while but then he becomes whiny and starts crying, so i then usually give up and put the tv on. It makes me feel bad and it worries me that he doesnt want to active, but we do make sure that he only watches educational age appropriate shows, and then i get the washing and cooking done.


Janice - posted on 01/18/2012




I think its fine if you let him watch a few children's shows per day. However, as for the whining/ crying for TV, he has learned that if he does it enough you will give in. The only way that will end is if you stop giving in. I know its tough, I am in the process of reversing the candy monster I created at the end of my pregnancy ;)

I would figure out what time the shows he likes are on and make it a part of your day. That way he gets his TV fix for an hour or so and you get your cleaning done.


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Summer - posted on 01/19/2012




I have one that will stare at the TV for hours if it is on too. I am, unfortunately, the same way. I literally can't think if it's on. So I try to live our lives without it at all. We do have alot of videos that they watch when they are sick or if I need to take a shower or something but it is amazing, if you turn it completely off for three days they stop asking to watch it and they start playing by themselves! I never thought it would be that way, but its true! Life is actually easier without TV. The boys (ages 3 and 2) are so much better if I cut TV out all together. If you leave even one hour a day in it doesnt work as well but sometimes you got to do what you got to do.

My oldest who is ADD and has a really hard time playing by himself will begin to go in the other room and play quietly after about three days of no TV. I can get so much more done and they are happier! It's really true!

Amy - posted on 01/19/2012




You are on the right track. The key is realizing that it is okay for him to whine and resist- that is how a two year old communicates. I keep the TV on all day for background noise, but if my kids get too absorbed in it and won't do anything else (ie focus on the book, game or activity we're doing together, or playing with themselves or each other) then I turn the TV off. If they have fits over it, then they are sent to their room to get over their tantrum. When it gets to that point, they straighten up very quickly. I love TV, and I know they are modeling me too. I am not disciplined enough to limit their TV viewing to a certain time limit, but I won't let them sit around all day, either. Plus, I cannot drive right now due to seizures, so we rarely get a chance to go out during the weekday unless it's church or the rare dinner, so I really feel bad for them for being cooped up a lot.

Anita - posted on 01/18/2012




In our family, we are choosy about what shows the kids are allowed to watch, and like another mom already said, there's a limit of 2 per day. Kids are smart enough to learn what the guidelines/expectation/limits/rules (whatever you want to call it) are, and follow them, even if they complain/whine about it. Whining doesn't get ANYTHING in my house except a firm "no" and I don't change my mind. Does your son play by himself ever? You said you try to do all those things with him and that is great. Kids need both 1-on-1 time w/ mom & dad, but they also need to know how to play alone. If he's not used to doing it, show him a few good choices (age appropriate, interesting, etc) like building things that involve imaginative/creative play, and start with short time periods, and gradually lengthen them. He can be in the same room as you, or in the next room (provided it's a safe room), it doesn't matter, as long as he's supervised and safe. Just my two-cents :) Good luck--it's a battle! I have 1 that has always been extremely attracted to t.v/videos/computers, and that's why we've done specific guidelines that she is totally cooperative with now (she's 7). Courage! :)

Edna - posted on 01/18/2012




God yes, he's all over it, I try to ignore him so he doesn't think it's a game and then just move him away or distract him if he's being dangerous. my daughter never did this and I don't do anything different with him than I did with her. think it depends on the child and what attrects there attention. he doesn't watch the tele just pounces when something gets his attention. so no idea just hoping the novalty will wear off eventually.x

Medic - posted on 01/17/2012




We usually do not have the tv on so my kids (ds5, dd2) don't ever acknowledge it. I also do not give into whining. If they whine I just walk away, if they start crying over it they can go to their rooms until they remember how to be human and speak.

Sharon - posted on 01/16/2012




I have the tv or radio on in the background all day, so there is some noise, but if he gets sidetracked by the tv, and starts to focus on it too much (he's allowed 2 x tv episodes a day, or 4 on a rainy day, usually dora or diego), then it gets switched off. If he gets upset then so be it, I just walk away and start playing with his little brother. He never gets anything that he whinges & cries for. Sometimes he'll stop after 30secs, sometimes 5mins, but he knows it's not going to happen so there is no point him continuing with it.

Jane - posted on 01/16/2012




I never had that problem. Our TV is way up high, off the floor, which could be part of it. We also would show a video rather than watch TV in part to better control what they were seeing and in part because both kids had very firm ideas of what types of shows they wanted to watch. My daughter loved Disney Sing Along Songs and my son loved the "There goes a..." series (There Goes a Firetruck, There Goes a Helicopter, There Goes a Police Car, There Goes a Bulldozer, and so on).

They also both absolutely loved to be read to, and I kept it up until my daughter started high school.

My kids were both very active and my daughter loved (and still loves) interacting with other people, so I rarely had a problem getting them to play outside or with toys. But then, my son is diagnosed with (among other thins) ADHD, and my daughter with ADD (that she largely controlled herself with sports).

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