dd is obsessesed with TV - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey all,

My 5 y/o dd is driving me nuts with wanting to watch tv/videos.

She has always loved to watch tv/videos.

We screen what she watches, commercial free, we limit the time that she spends watching. Less than 3 hours a week right now but to me that is too much as it is. She would watch way more than that if allowed.

She does have a very good imagination, lots of energy. I dont worry about her being a couch potato ( I wouldn't allow hours of tv to go on and on) but I know without direction she could totally sit for hours in front of the tv.

Now she is always asking to watch something. First thing in the morning, I distract her and we move on. Every hour or so she asks. Sometimes I let her sometimes I dont.

I wonder what your tv habits are like.

Do I just give her free range and omit the power struggle and hope she burns out on it.

Do I say tv only on weekends?

Do I say 30 minutes a day?

What do you think???

Gotta go....check in later
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#2 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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i would definitely not allow free range. during times when we've been sick or whatever and we're feeling too sick to do much but veg in front of the TV for a couple of days, it's always *torturous* keeping them away from the TV for weeks afterwards. IME (myself and with the kids) the more you watch, the more you want to watch.

i think 30 minutes a day sounds reasonable, though i don't think there's anything wrong with an occasional movie either, which of course is longer than that. perhaps if she wants to watch a movie she can build up the time by giving up the 30 minutes a couple of days in a row?

i personally could not handle being asked all the time, that would drive me insane. perhaps if there was a specific time of day that she was allowed it would cut out the asking? for my DD it is during her little brother's nap time, which is 'quiet time' for her. not always does she watch TV or a movie, but that's when it happens, usually. or else as a family in the evenings we'll sometimes watch a movie together. and i must confess in the winter sometimes or on rainy days when it's been raining for days we sometimes watch more. i don't have any hard and fast rules about it, i just ask DD to turn it off when i feel it's been long enough.

but in the end i think whatever feels right to you is what you should do. everyone has different feelings about how much is too much, and ultimately it's up to you and your DD to figure it out.
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#3 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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I guess it depends on the kid. My son has never cared much for tv and on occasion I can put on a cartoon or video and *hope* he'll give me some free time, but most often he will only watch maybe 20 mins.

So I can honestly say I give my son free reign and he could watch tv whenever he wants, which is never. I'm the one who sometimes turns it on to try and get a little break or get some work done without his help. :

If I had a kid that looked like they would watch endless tv, I think I'd limit it too. Although the endless asking for it would drive me insane .. do you think if you had a set time each day where she watched a video or something, that would eliminate the asking?

Best wishes, but I do think you should continue to limit tv time.

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#4 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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TV is unregulated in our house (time that is, content is screened by me). My DS will watch the tv on and off, but he never just sits and stares. He's always doing something else (playing with a toy, running around, etc.). I know that if I kept TV to a short time per day, he'd ask constantly. That's just our personal philosophy on it, and I know some people really dislike the TV. My only solution would be to just get rid of the TV if it's causing too many problems.
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#5 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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My 5yo dc would also watch hours of tv at a time if permitted, and I've found that when we do allow that to happen, he's really cranky when we tell him to turn it off, and then he's whiny for quite some time afterwords. But on the times when he only watches 30 minutes and we tell him to turn it off, there's usually not a problem.

We've instituted a token system for tv viewing that may work for you, too. At the beginning of each week dc is given 10 tokens. Most of them can be exchanged for 30 minutes of tv time, and a few are for 15 minutes. Well, really the they are for two segments of something like Curious George or one segment of Curious George or any of the other PBS shows he likes). He has control over how many he uses at a time (within reason, of course - he can't cash one right at bedtime or when we're heading out the door for school). The 30 minutes time isn't hard and fast, though - we're something flexible. But it does allow him some control within boundaries.
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#6 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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I'd go free range, personally. Never hurts to try. I was totally opposed to that idea, but my son (now 6.5) was bugging me all.the.time. about it. It was a HUGE issue in our house.

Finally, I let go - not too long ago, in fact. Turns out, it was a control thing with him. He watches much less now and will actually turn it off all by himself. Same with video games. I was shocked.
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#7 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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I believe acts like a drug. The fact that so many people find it difficult to turn it off (and keep it off) supports my belief.

Get rid of your television. Again, if that sounds drastic then maybe it's a sign that it's working as a drug on your family.

There is absolutely no reason for a child to watch television -- you won't be depriving her of anything (the opposite, actually). Give your family 2 or 3 weeks (to detox), and after that you will no longer miss it.
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#8 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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I am with Dragonfly.

When you strictly ration something--a particular food your child enjoys, for example--you make that more desirable.

My children have control over their tv viewing, and they are very reasonable about it. I do offer guidance about what/how much is watched, and we don't have cable. If I did feel it was on too much, then I'd think they probably need something more interesting to do. It's usually boredom that causes too much tv watching.
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#9 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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I want to say that if it were me, I would just go free-range and let my child decide how much TV to watch, but my daughter doesn't watch much TV at all so it's easy for me to say. I have to admit, despite my desire to be as consensual as I can and let my child make decisions that effect her, I would have a hard time letting her watch as much TV as she wanted if she wanted to watch a lot of it. My husband watches more TV than anyone else here and he isn't even that into it. One thing that helped us was getting Tivo, because it records things to watch so we tend to only turn on the tv when there's a specific show recorded that we want to watch. We never just have the TV on to see what's on. That's kind of a foreign concept once you get used to having Tivo, at least it worked that way for us. It's weird that we pay for this TV service that led to us watching much less TV. Anyway, she generally watches Handy Manny each day but isn't usually interested in watching anything else. There's another show we record for her that she sometimes likes to watch but I can't think of what it is. So she usually watches one half-hour show a day. If the weather is bad it might be more, but she spends most of her time drawing or reading and those are both indoor things too.

I suppose you could try one thing and if it didn't work try something else?
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#10 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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You could try not limiting time, but limiting to videos only, and hiding the remote so she can't turn it back on without your help! Seriously, though, I found that when I turned on PBS, Playhouse Disney or Noggin, DD would want to watch for longer periods, because there was always something on next.

We're pretty much free-range TV on time, parental discretion on content, but it's only videos or recorded TV (usually from Disney or PBS, so no commercials) so there's always an end point. I don't turn the movie back on unless DD asks. For that matter, I don't turn on the A/V system unless she asks, and some days she doesn't ask at all, not even for just music.
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#11 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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could you try maybe an even more education choice for him? maybe like the animal planet, or history channel? I know it sounds cooky but I've been thinking about some of this for my 5 yo who is too old for some of the noggin shows. It seems they peek about that age then you are supposed to go to some of the older more icky stuff I've seen I guess. I'm not up for them watching some of the cartoons that are meant for older kids, so the times they do watch tv, which at our house is like 2 hours a week, I'd like them to learn something and if they are bored, go do something else.

Also for my girls what helped was organizing their toys into only 5 separate things they really like to do.... dress up, craft, color, dollhouse etc. After we did that and organized it like in a preschool setting with certain things go certain places, they play non stop and rarely watch or need tv anymore. maybe you might try honing in on some of the things he enjoys most and setting his play room up accordingly!

tv is such a tricky subject! my dc have friends who totally zone out watching it and they watch it to wake up, wind down everything. You can really tell the difference in kids who watch loads and who are more into imaginary play.

good luck!
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#12 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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In our house, dd gets to watch TV in the morning before pre-school as long as she's done with her morning routine. That means she doesn't get more than 20 minutes in front of the tube and quite often no TV time in the morning at all. Then in the evening she gets to watch Sponge Bob with us for however long that runs - depends on how many episodes they show - and that's it. She used to beg for TV in the afternoon, but I held firm and she doesn't bother asking now. However, pre-school is closed for summer vacation and school doesn't start until the second week of August. She's getting more TV time in than I like. So I've been trying to distract her with a major overhaul of her room, which is now more pleasant for her and she spends more time at her desk drawing and writing, swimming, going to the playground and just letting her play in the garden (weather permitting). We're a bit restricted in a lot of things we can do since I'm still recovering from an accident. I'd love to go bike riding, but I can't move that well yet. Anyhow, I figure as long as she's not doing all-day TV marathons, it won't kill her if I can't think of 3 million activities to do all day that don't wear me out.

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#13 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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I think what's interesting now is the quantity of children's programming available. When I was a kid (under 5), I don't really remember watching tv on my own. Stuff like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers and Reading Rainbow I watched with my mom. She would talk with me about what we saw on the show. If I watched tv with my dad, it was stuff that he wanted to watch - kid appropriate of course- usually NBA basketball or tennis or This Old House. My boyfriend was also having an issue with his daughter and tv. Now instead of letting her watch tons of dumb kid stuff, they've figured out some shows they both like to watch - one of their favorites is Unwrapped on the Food Channel which is about how food is made. I agree with the suggestion of Animal Planet or the History Channel or even the Food Network. It's definitely better than junky cartoons and if you can sit with the kid(s) while you watch, that's even better.
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#14 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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My daughter (5 yo) looooooves animal planet, especially Bindi from Crocodile Hunter. She would watch more tv too if I wasn;t on top of it. I've found that getting her into a good project first thing after nap (which is when she whines for tv) makes her forget about it. An art or building project.

A friend of mine does tv exchange. 30 minutes of reading for 10 minutes of tv. A penny in a cup represents a 10 minutes chunk of tv. It works well for her, but her kids are older (8-13). If your daughter doesn't read by herself yet, this might not work.

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#15 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 09:17 PM
 
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Right now my kids watch 1 movie per day which is a lot imo.. my 2 yr old dd is ALWAYS asking for tv lol.. When we move in 1.5 weeks, Im going with a 30 min a day limit and 1 movie per week unless its raining or someone is sick then 1 movie that day.
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#16 of 16 Old 07-18-2007, 09:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlin View Post
TV is unregulated in our house (time that is, content is screened by me). My DS will watch the tv on and off, but he never just sits and stares. He's always doing something else (playing with a toy, running around, etc.). I know that if I kept TV to a short time per day, he'd ask constantly. That's just our personal philosophy on it, and I know some people really dislike the TV. My only solution would be to just get rid of the TV if it's causing too many problems.
This is exactly what we do.

The TV is on a lot around here. How much is it watched? Not so much! We stick to PBS and DVDs.
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