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Limited TV

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Okay, let me start by saying that tv-free isn't an option. My husband has never nor ever will be on board with the idea. I'd be okay with netflix and hulu plus and getting rid of satellite, but we get this awesome deal, and unless that deal went away, I wouldn't be able to convince DH of it. We already record shows rather than watch live TV so commercials are nearly non-existent in our house, but here's the deal. My DS is 3 1/2 and hardly sleeps. We're talking 8-10 hours a night max...and no nap and full of energy. My DD sleeps around 13-14 hr in a 24 hr period. Right now I watch one show regularly during the summer and DH and I both have our favorites in the fall. I'd really love to just not have the option of watching tv during the day, but I'm not sure how to exercise self control in this respect. It seems like when DS is grumpy, and driving me crazy, or needs quiet time or wakes up at 5:30 am, the only solution is to turn on the tv for him so I can sleep/get a break what not. He ends up watching way more TV than I'd like and then on the weekend, DH watches a lot of TV, so I really want to limit it during the week. We tend to watch movies on the weekend as a family and his overall screentime is just more than I'd like. Also, DH tends to get home late from work(right in the middle of bedtime routine)so I can't always plan on his help at all during the day some days...that mental and physical break is almost vital. Any thoughts on what I can have him do instead of TV when I need a break/nap/etc? DS is also not all that into crafts..I introduced him to painting, drawing coloring etc at a very young age and he's just never gotten into it. He will play with his etch a sketch, hotwheels and v-reader(still a screen I know, but it's reading). I really need him to get used to entertaining himself other ways besides watching tv when he's bored. I had been letting him watch shows on netflix during quiet time but I feel like if he does that all of quiet time, I can't let him watch any other time...first thing in the morning, or while I'm making dinner. I need some consistency with it!! help!

post #2 of 9

Books on tape! My DC will devour a book on tape. At 3.5, it will be more difficult to find the right book that will be long enough to make it worth your while and still something your child can get into but I think you can find something - maybe even Charlotte's Web? My DC will listen to the same book over and over - she loves them so much that we had to limit them too. ;-)  

post #3 of 9

I agree with the books on tape idea.  You could get multiple picture books on tape from the library (we currently have four checked out).  My daughter tends to listen to them back to back and over and over.  It's a great way for me to get a little something done and keep her calm and occupied.

post #4 of 9

We cancelled our cable and just have netflix or the computer hooked up to the tv screen.  But we do without tv at all several nights a week.  I have a huge record collection, so we play records and have a dance party or take walks or do crafts.  TURN IT OFF when you can!  But there are times I need a break and that is when Netflix comes to the rescue!

post #5 of 9

I just recently (on Friday) decided that I was going to limit TV for my son. He is 3 1/2 and he was watching 12 or more hours of TV a day! The straw that broke the camels back is he started peeing in his room so that he didn't miss the TV show he was watching because he can see the TV from his room, and he was waking up at like 5 am most mornings trying to watch TV, I would have to tell him no and he would have a meltdown and then go back to sleep for ah hour or two if I was lucky. My husband thinks I'm crazy, he loves TV its all he wants to do too but I am the one home with DS in the day so I get to decide what he does. So far play dough has been my go to, he has been playing with it for about 4 hours already today. And he also slept until almost 8:30 today without issue and when he woke up he didn't even ask for TV. What I decided that we would do is if he is good all day and eats all of his dinner he can watch 1 hour of baby first TV before bed, or he can watch any of the movies we have instead of baby first. And I told DH that he can watch his TV but he is not allowed to put on the TV just for DS, no sponge bob, no Dora, he has to watch the history channel or something like that when he watches TV. So far this is working good. DH is not really happy about it but I don't care at this point. I just wish I could get DS to actually play with his toys. I feel like such a failure for letting the TV get so out of control that he would rather watch TV than play with toys, he has a room full of them and has never played with more than half of them. We did watch 3 movies this weekend as a family and for most part he sat quietly on the couch with me or went to his room and was reading books.

post #6 of 9

Pogo0685- It takes time. BUT playing with play dough for 4 hours is very good. The toys will come with time. Sometimes the child needs to get bored to see that they have more to do. If he tells you he is bored don't be afaid to tell him "find something to do" NOT just turn on a movie.

post #7 of 9

Nazsmum - this week has been really hard, DH got fed up with him and turned the tv on for him the other night. And then did it again this morning! I only let him watch an hour today and then shut it off and he has been complaining all morning that he wants his tv back. I redid his room the other night and put a shelf with bins on it with all his toys so he can pull them out and play with them. I am seriously so irritated that he is not playing with his toys. I know it will take him time to learn to play but with Christmas coming and I know the grandparents are going to give him lots more toys and I have nowhere to put them, and don't want to spend days redoing his room to make space for them if he is not going to play with them anyway... Sorry for the mini rant - I think pregnancy hormones are kicking pretty bad today.

post #8 of 9

Do you have time to play with him?? Maybe play cars or a favorite toy? Also getting outside can help. We walk everyday. 


Does he have one show he likes the most? Maybe make that a go to show for one part of the day??? like before/after eating lunch?

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
We've been doing great with limited tv. DH is even starting to watch less on the weekend. We are down to about half hour to an hour a day. As long as I keep it to a minimum and he has other things to do he doesn't even ask for it anymore. I pretty much turn it on after his nighttime routine.. He can watch one show with me and daddy before bed and usually the kids will watch a little while I'm making dinner. He has other screen time like starfall and abcmouse.com but its all about learning. He also plays with the iPod about once a day for 20 minutes
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