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Cold Turkey Screen Free

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We've been TV Free since before our daughter was born, but after she turned two allowed her to watch shows on the iPad or computer. She turned 3 in July. Well, things have kind of spiraled out of control (ex: watching Cinderella every. single. day... Throwing a big fit when it's time to do something else... Lashing out in tantrums, etc).

Last week the iPad "got broken" and Daddy had to send it away to get fixed *wink wink*. That quickly turned into her wanting to sit in front of the computer just about every waking minute. We had enough of that, too, her behavior was just too outrageous. Daddy unplugged the iMac and put it out of sight.

Her behavior has really escalated now. My husband and I acknowledge that this power struggle kinda happened at a bad time, since she's testing the limits of her autonomy right now, but we know we've done the right thing. (I was saying six months ago she was watching too many shows, but he wasn't seeing my side of things.)

Advice or commiseration from anyone who has gone cold turkey? What should I expect?

P.S. we don't watch shows in front of her. If we watch a movie it'll be after she goes to bed on my husbands laptop, for example.
post #2 of 3

We haven't gone cold turkey yet, but I can at least sympathize with you! Our daughter is only 2, and has watched a little tv on and off for quite a while but it has recently become a problem (she cries when its time to do other things, constantly nags to watch "shows", freaks out if we don't put on exactly what she wants to watch, etc) so we just made a No-TV-until-after-dinner rule. Yesterday was the first day and she had a couple of total meltdowns over it, but already today was better. Its a little more difficult on us because if she can't watch tv then neither can we, and we decided its also not fair for us to be on our phones or computers either then. So we play with her more, and get more stuff done around the house, or read if she is entertaining herself. 


It seems that it won't be too difficult of an adjustment for us, it just takes a bit more effort on our behalf, but she likes the extra time we spend playing with her. We still like to cuddle on the couch in the evenings and watch a movie or a show together, so hopefully just limiting tv time like that will work for us instead of having to cut it out completely. 

post #3 of 3
I haven't gone cold turkey but wanted to offer what our 3 almost 4yo is doing. We decided not to limit TV in an aggressive way but it's not on all day and we don't watch adult shows while she's awake. However we are taking a passive approach. Like pausing her show and seeing her find something else to do and then quietly turning off the tv. Or putting her iPhone (she's got our old 3G loaded with stuff) out of the way when she's done. This way we've avoided some tantrums and aren't actively limiting. She had a period when she hit 3 where she was obsessed with her shows. Now at almost 4 she doesn't care that much and plays with her toys or wants to go to the park. Eventually it will just get boring I think. I know I get bored of it.

Kids grow up now with more TV and iPods, iPads and laptops then ever. It's unavoidable and a good thing in some respects, bad in others. The programming language jQuery was developed by a teenager and he started developing much younger. He must have had access to a computer pretty early on and a positive thing came from it. Both of us come from a tech background so we are a little biased.

I still think limiting screen time is a good thing overall but am trying to take a different approach to it.
Edited by tillymonster - 9/26/13 at 12:27am
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