what is it about behavior and too much TV? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 06-03-2013, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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We have started limiting screen time more and more. I can't quite figure out why, but when DD1 (6) gets a lot of screen time (either TV or iPad) her behavior takes a huge dive. She get's cranky and irritable, doesn't listen as well, and also refuses to do anything BUT screen time. In our own home we do not have cable TV and it is only a little PBS Kids in the morning and that's it. However even then it can be a battle and then all DD talks about is what she saw on TV despite it being a small portion of our day. It's like it takes over her brain even when we are doing interesting and fun stuff the rest of the day.

I have tried to relax it in the past thinking maybe it was a "forbidden fruit" type thing but her behavior always gets worse again. Personally, DH and I can't stand much TV which is why we don't have it but both his and my parents have the TV on ALL THE TIME. They see no problem with letting our kids watch all the time which makes visitnig grandparents kind of stressful at times since we have to be the "bad guys" and "deprive" our kids and turn the TV off. How do I explain this behavior-screentime connection to them? I myself can't figure out exactly why screen-time is so overstimulating to DD1 but when we get home from this latest visit I am considering eliminating it all together.

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#2 of 4 Old 06-03-2013, 09:14 AM
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How often do you visit the grandparents? 


I know what you mean about it taking over their brains -- we went through a phase where the more screen time they got, the more they seemed to "need," and they would get cranky, demanding, and sooo upset when the TV would turn off. 


What I did was implement a "tech ticket" system, where the kids have to redeem tickets if they want to watch TV, play video games, or use the computer. I'm comfortable with up to 1 hour per day for each child, but you could adjust it to your comfort level. So for my kids, they each get 14 tech tickets (worth 30 minutes each) on Sunday, and they're responsible for rationing out their tech time. My DS got it right away and always has a few tickets left over at the end of each week (I pay him 50 cents per leftover ticket), but it took DD a couple weeks of running out of tickets by Tuesday and then having to wait until Sunday to watch/play ANYTHING, which was a good lesson for her. I love it because it's not ME being the bad guy and telling them they can't watch any more TV, it's just that they're out of tickets. It was amazing how there was instantly no more screaming and throwing fits about this stuff anymore once we started using this system. 


Here's the blog post I got the idea from:




And here's a picture of what the system looks like -- so easy to make (I didn't do the chalkboard part, just used a plain clipboard).



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#3 of 4 Old 06-03-2013, 01:11 PM
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I think it has something to do with the speed of the images. I don't find any correlation when I allow a show at night though. I typically make sure my DD has time to read before bed afterwards though because it is hard for her to settle in if she goes straight from show to bed.
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#4 of 4 Old 06-05-2013, 11:19 AM
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I found it with my 2 year old too. Now tv is an emergency coping measure for mom (32 weeks pregnant with mood issues so mommy needs to cope from time to time) and DD doesn't ask much anymore. I also make outside play a big priority as much as I can and it really helps. I explained to my mom that tv makes it hard for her to settle at bedtime and lately she pretty much keeps her tv off - even when my niece (who sees a lot more tv) visits! My in laws on the other hand seem to live with it on. Truthfully my MIL would love to cut back but my FIL is hooked. I feel uncomfortable asking them to turn it off and it helps them occupy a very busy 2 year old (they're in their 70's) on the few occasion that they babysit. Our visits are every other week or so on average so I grin and bear it. If we saw them very frequently, I'd ask DH to broach the subject.
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