How do your kids with very little screen time act after having some? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-11-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our DD is 3 yrs old. She gets very little screen time.

Every once in a while, once every week or two, she gets a little. Sometimes we will watch a 20 min signing times video, or one or two tree house episodes. A couple of times now, we have watched a movie with her.

 

We thought that for this evening, for a treat, we would have family movie night.

We made pizza and rented "Over the Hedge".

We took a 15 minute break half way through the movie to get drinks, snacks, etc.

 

Well, after the movie my DD had a full out, extreme, never saw her like that before, meltdown. It wasn't related to turning off the movie. She was trying to fix/close the babygate and just melted down. She screamed and cried and was fully out of control of herself for a full 15 minutes.

It is not like she hasn't had a temper tantrum before. But this was different than that. This episode she really was out of control, not herself and seemed "possessed". It scared me. There was nothing we could do to help her out of it. She didn't want held or touched (she never does during a meltdown), she wouldn't take deep breaths (sometimes works), she just melted down.

 

Finally after the lingering stuff we were able to get her to sit and play an easy game. Just something to get her mind on something else, have a little fun, and regain her dignity. Then we did the bed-time routine and went off to bed without any problem.

 

So. Do your kids act squirrley after getting some extended screen time?

Is she just too young for a movie? When did/do you start watching a movie night with your kids?

Could this have just been a coincidence and it wasn't the movie?

Should we try again with a movie another time soon and see what happens?

We have watched a movie two times before and I do not remember this happening. Although the times have been very spread out so I do not fuly remember whether she was out of whack after the other times.

 

Thanks.


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#2 of 16 Old 08-12-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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Yup.  So we no longer do it.  And it really enrages me when people tell me that my 8yo wouldn't be that way if he got more screen time.  NEWSFLASH:  THAT'S WHY WE CUT DOWN THE SCREEN TIME!  Cuss.gif

 

*sigh*

 

But yeah, my 3yo is that way, too.  And she's not even biologically related to my son (she's adopted).  It has this absolutely strange (and sometimes downright addictive) component to it.

 

So we just don't.  If the kids see a half hour a week, it's a lot.  And that goes for any screen--computer, TV, video game.  The only time it's any kind of a problem is that we homeschool and the 8yo has some computer-based stuff (mostly foreign language).  So that gets to be a challenge.


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#3 of 16 Old 08-15-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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A full length movie would have been too much for my ds at age 3. He barely started watching anything at 3. If he was the kind of kid to sit still and actually watch the whole movie, I bet he would have had a meltdown afterward. He would get overstimulated by tv and burst into tears when he was a baby...

 

But he wouldn't have sat through a movie at age 3. He wasn't one to get entranced and just watch. He'd have wandered off and done other things, at best. Or turned off the tv. Because he never got very absorbed by movies/tv, I don't think he really ever had issues with unlimited screen time. Just a temperamental difference. 


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#4 of 16 Old 08-15-2012, 02:09 PM
 
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See, now my 8yo craned his neck to any kind of screen at 4mo.  He totally sat through a movie at 3yo (we cut it back significantly at 4yo).  All kids are different.

 

I WILL say, though, that how much he can tolerate before it's a problem has definitely increased over time.  When we're staying at other people's houses, he gets more screen time than usual and I notice that the boundary is higher than it used to be.


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#5 of 16 Old 08-15-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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We limited screen time (still do and my son is almost 8 y.o.) and were/are very careful about what he watched when he did have screen time.  So, I would say it may be the duration of what you watched and/or the content of what you watched.  

 

My son was OK with shorter 1/2 hr "kid show" type things.  I let him watch one 1/2 hr. show a couple of times a week at 3 y.o.. But sitting through a full length movie would have been too much.  He started watching full length movies at 6 y.o. or so, but rarely.  

 

The content of what you watched may have been too much for her.  I haven't seen "over the hedge", but a good friend of mine took her three year old when it was in the movie theater for her first trip to the movies and was sorry she did.  She felt it was too fast paced and there was something about it that upset her daughter a lot (can't remember - maybe an animal got hurt?).  At three years old, my DS pretty much watched "max and ruby" or "the wonder pets".  Both are very mild and slower paced.  I think this is especially important for kids who don't get very much TV or computer time - it can really be overstimulating to be bombarded with images, noises and plots or information that may be more emotionally charged than what they are used to taking in and processing.  Slow moving and emotionally appropriate for him were really important for me to keep in mind, especially when DS was little.   

 

So, we would still do movie night with all of us on the couch eating popcorn.  DS would get really excited - it was a big treat.  We would just watch 1/2 hr or "max and ruby" together, and call it a night! 

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#6 of 16 Old 08-16-2012, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, Im thinking that the length and the fast paced content is what it too much.

She didn't have trouble sitting through it. And she didn't get scared.

I think that her brain was put on over-drive from the fast paced nature of a movie and then when we turned it off her brain couldn't turn off or slow down and she "meted down".

 

I think we will stick to infrequent short treehouse episodes for any screen time from now on.


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#7 of 16 Old 08-19-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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Oh, sooo familiar!  My 4 yo DD reacts the exact same way to screen time.  She had never watched a movie before, but last Christmas we decided to watch one together for a special treat.  She got so freaked out we never did it again!  The interesting thing is, my 2yo DS is completely nonchalant about the TV.  DD can't even hear someone talking to her if she's watching a cartoon.  DS can easily get up and walk away, play with toys, wander back again.  Just totally different personalities.  DS doesn't really watch any TV, and I limit DD to a couple of half-hour cartoons a week while he's napping, when I need a break for my sanity. winky.gif  Any more than that can be disastrous.  

 

I wish I had some advice for you, but know that you're definitely not the only one with a LO who reacts dramatically to screen time!  Good luck!


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#8 of 16 Old 08-20-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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My son is cranky/less cooperative after screen time, even if he doesn't pay any attention to it (something my husband is watching, usually). We have more or less eliminated screen time for him.

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#9 of 16 Old 08-20-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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My boys haven't seen much and not often (like once or twice a month), but when my husband came home from work he could always tell when they'd been watching a movie because of their crazy behaviour.

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#10 of 16 Old 08-21-2012, 03:17 PM
 
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We don't own a tv, but when visiting extended family, my DD acts really hyper after watching TV.


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#11 of 16 Old 08-21-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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We have limited screen time, but it's regular.  DD gets to pick from a small selection of slower paced movies that her dad and I have seen and approved and she gets to watch once a week on movie day.  This seems to prevent her from getting overstimulated and has allowed her to develop a little bit of self-regulation with them, while not placing the full onus of self-regulation on her.  In the past, when it was unexpected and unregulated, she would get overstimulated and melt down.  I decided to do this because it wasn't feasible -  for our family - to be 100% media free and we decided the next best thing would be to have a great deal of structure to it.  So far I am really happy with how it's been working out.  We've had the system in place since last year.

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#12 of 16 Old 08-22-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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My twin boys are almost 4 and when the tv is on they turn into little zombies and get very aggressive when we turn it off, so they get very LIMITED screen time.  Whenever we do use it, (usually so I can shower in the morning without an audience), I make sure they understand its only for a short period of time and that's all.  Whenever i prepare them for it, it turns out much better. 

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#13 of 16 Old 08-22-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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My kids get a lot of screen time and it's not a problem for us. We have noticed, however, that specific types of content (for one it's Tim Burton animation and anything in that style, for one it's advertising) lead to really extreme behaviors. So we don't have TV reception, which enables us to to censor and avoid the triggering content. 

 

I love TV, computer gaming, iPad games, Kindle reading, etc. It doesn't bother me that my kids love those things too. But every kid is different and I am not surprised to hear that some kids react negatively to even a little bit, especially when they are younger. 

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#14 of 16 Old 08-24-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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I agree that every kid is different, DD would be able to sit through a movie at the movie theater if I wanted (we watch movies at home when we are sick), but the bottom line is that I find more enjoyment watching my daughter play with her toys and be happy with something as simple as drawing a picture of a dog then to have tv/movies constantly tell her who she should be and what she should like and that holds true for people of all ages who watch tv, I'll be the first to admit that tv made me insecure for most of my childhood years because that's the only way we are able to view the world and sometimes it's just too much, once you unplug you realize how obsessive you were towards celebrity and the "reality" that is portrayed. I know people who will unplug for a period of time and are able to enjoy the time they do have with their kids, good or bad. 


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#15 of 16 Old 08-28-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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I grew up with very limited TV, and sometimes I wonder if that doesn't make me more capable of handling the media storm (and setting the right media boundaries) for my kids. So many people I know, "TV on" was the default setting in their house, and I think that makes it difficult to sense when TV is intruding too much into life. 

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#16 of 16 Old 08-30-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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Mine become monsters after watching and whine for more and more. it's horrible. i feel bad that i use it sometimes anyway to get a bit of quiet time, like once a week.

 

actually i think about "our tv has broken " to not "have" to show somehting for them...i hate this whining. Seriously. It is so annoying it's going the whole day: Mom can I watch a movie, can I watch a movie pleeeeease. Although they know that we only have tv on sundays...(or in exceptional situations)

 

DS is allowed to watch a very slowpaced show on my iphone when DD does an activity. Because I feel mean if I let him be bored while he has to wait.


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