This has been an interesting thread for me to read. DS1 (2y11m) will watch DVDs nonstop if I let him. For a while I let him watch unlimited to see if we could reach an equilibrium but it ended after a week and a half with the dvd player breaking and generally having very nasty behavior. So since the breaking of the dvd player a week or so ago, we've been completely tv free. He has asked to watch a few times but overall his behavior has improved dramatically. I miss the convenience of the tv and the enjoyment he took in Little Einsteins, etc, so I'm not sure what our long term solution will be.
Please tell me another way to handle the tantrums - Page 2
When I had this situation, I had to push the computer time (it was computer time for us) to the end of the day. It was at a set time, rather than a set amount of time. That way, he knew not to ask for it earlier. He became under threat of losing it completely at the end of the day if he did not behave throughout the day. Tantrums were how he would lose it. I started to require a chore a day (something simple at that age like line up the shoes by the door or carry the bathroom trash downstairs). He had to do his chore to get his time in the evening too.
This really does work. Because then, when he gets off, he is getting ready for bed and you don't have the after the play time whining. If you do, I mean, it does not last long as he is going off to bed.
I found it true that not having limits on t.v. means they will use it like any other choice. My kids don't want to sit in front of the t.v. for hours. And when they do watch, they are often doing something else, like writing or drawing or dancing, at the same time.
I've heard that if you started out with limits, however, when you lift them, children may binge until they trust that they will always have the freedom to choose.
We don't have any limits on TV either. My 5 year old DD is usually doing something else when watching and often turns it off because she wants to play in the living room.
We also don't have a lot of rules. It's mostly "treat other people with respect" and "don't do dangerous things". They are family rules that we all follow.
I don't want to take limits away from tv. My son always is emotional and hard to deal with after cartoons. The TV is in a tiny room. It is just the 42 inch tv and my son. I also don't like the noise of having a tv on in the background even if we had one upstairs so I want limits.
At the same time there is probably something to letting him have as much as he wants for awhile. Maybe a future experiment.
Thanks for your posts Courtney-Olstaff- I need to go back and digest what you said. Made sense to me.