My 3.5 YO DS often wakes up early (5:45-6am) and demands that he go downstairs and watch TV. If I tell him no, a full on screaming tantrum begins, which results in his waking up everyone in the house. I am NOT a morning person, especially after being up several times in the night to nurse baby, or to calm DS down (he is up at least once a night for about 10-15 mins). I become very angry when I am woken up with screaming and demands for TV. I have discussed this with him, telling him that mummy needs to sleep, it isn't fair to wake everyone up with screaming and yelling etc....but this isn't working. It happens almost every morning. I do limit the amount and type of TV DS watches, but we always seem to be arguing/negotiating on when/what/how much can be watched. I am now seriously considering taking the Wii away (this is where we get Netflix, which is where his shows come from), but I don't know if this is the answer. I don't have an issue with him watching a Sesame Street, but I don't want it to be at 6 am!!! Any suggestions on how to limit TV in a way we can both live with? Any suggestions for how to phrase/explain this in a way that he can understand? Thanks!
If you have a baby and need some time for yourself in the morning, why not let him watch TV for an hour? Dd also used to wake up at 6 am and I *need* my morning coffee, so I just let her watch TV until it`s time to wake up her brother. Dd doesn`t get too much TV time either, so I'm fine with 1h or so in the morning.
Alternatively, if breaking the habit is really important to you, you could brace yourself for a couple of days of him tantruming in the morning, and refuse TV until he understands he won't change your mind. But if you give in occasionally, you will have to start all over again. Plus, you might still have a kid who's up at 6 am and needs to be entertained or fed.
Personally, I would go with TV in the morning.
If you keep negotiating or punishing him by taking away his things, chances are it will escalate the situation and you'll get both frustrated.
How much sleep total does he get? Why is he waking up at night and so early in the am? Does he still nap? I personally think the sleep factor is the bigger issue here rather than the tv. Have you tried extended release Melatonin to help him stay asleep?
If he is getting enough sleep and won't give up naps/is no longer napping/ you don't want him to give up naps, then letting him watch some TV in the morning might be a reasonable compromise.
It's hard for kids that age to be awake without you being up too. Either he needs to be more tired in the morning so he sleeps longer, or you might consider letting him have some TV in the morning so you can get a bit more sleep. Seasame Street isn't worse at 6 am than 10 am, and if you have a little baby, it might make things easier for all of you.
Thanks for your replies. He goes to bed at around 7:30, and sleeps through with just 1 night wake up. No naps; he gave those up a long time ago. I think he is getting enough sleep at night, 11 hours with one minor interruption is like a godsend from how he used to sleep!! I think I will just let it go and accept that he wants to be up at 6.... realistically, I should be grateful that he goes to bed so early!!! I guess some struggles just aren't worth it, and as long as he is content and I can have some peace, Sesame Street at 6 am isn't such a bad thing after all. Thanks again for your advice and perspective.