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ds stopped napping, now we are thinkin' we are going to turn on the tv...

748 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Naughty Dingo
so, you have proably heard this many times before, but ds has stopped napping and i am going beserk!!!!!

our home life right now and things that we are not really able to change in the time being are really trying me a s a mommy. well, we moved across the pacific ocean this past year and so so many changes: a job that keeps dh gone ALL THE FREAKIN TIME and rare family time, bought a new home, which we should feel very fortunate but remodeling (the main house on our proeperty to rent out ASAP) takes all of our "extra" time away, me not being able to be in school (residency, arg!) and the fact that i NEVER get time to myself or away froms ds. in september, ds will be starting at a WONDERFUL waldorf school twice a week for four hours so i can be in school, and center myself. well, we are nearing the end of remodeling (more family time) and september is not far away(more mommy time), but for now since ds has stopped napping, 2-3 oclock in our home is witching hour! i am exhausted and ds finds it the perfect time to push every last button. i have been screaming at him
: and feeling terrible about it, but i am running out of resources. sometimes things like painting, outside water time, and play dough work but it is not something reliable, such as the DVD player...

and now back to my post.
every day i fund myself conficted and ready to just turn on a baby einsten movie and get 27 minutes to be able to cuddle with my little boy in front of a screen and feel completely revived! (i have done it in the past when ds was younger on those rare napless days, so i know how refresshing it is for us) doesnt it just seem at some point putting your babe in front of a movie for 27 minutes is better than having a crappy afternoon, evening? part of me says yes this is what you can make do with for now, nothing is permanent, and the other part of me says i am not exploring enough options and instead i am just avoiding the real issues and the big picture. ugh! i feel so 50/50 on this and i simply cannot figure out what to do! my ds LOVES watching movies so much it irks me and i do not want to take away from his childhood, imagination in any way by putting him in front of a screen. anyone been in this situation? dh says i am being too hard on myself and it is not that big of a deal, just pop in the movie...

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I really don't think 1/2 hour a day is going to harm him at all, and if it helps you get over that bump in your day it may do him some good. Another option which works with my dd- she stopped napping at 2 and I started "quiet time" for 1/2 hour a day. She has to stay in her room and be fairly quiet. She usually listens to a book on tape. I have never had any struggle with this, she actually looks forward to it. Maybe that would work for you? I don't know how old your ds is.
I'd do it, particularly since it is refreshing to YOU. A little TV is not going to stunt the imagination IMO. My boys frankly watch too MUCH TV (too many videos lying around, and mommy WAH!) and they are very imaginative in their play. Often times they will switch off the video after a few minutes, grab the stuffed animals and dress up gear and go to town.

I think if you would feel refreshed by that, and particularly since you are talking about cuddling WITH him that it's a great idea. You're not abandoning him to the TV, yk? It becomes a sharing activity, no better or worse than listening to some music or watching the grass grow.....
My personal opinion (take it for what it's worth) is that tv is never the answer to boredom or a need for downtime for children. You might want to read _The Plug-In Drug_ to learn more about why tv is particularly bad for kids. It's not the content, it's the way that watching tv changes the way the brain functions. Also, if you use tv to relax, you are teaching your child to use tv to relax, which is not a habit I'd want to start. Also, tv is extremely stimulating to kids, which is why most kids' behavior gets worse after "relaxing" in front of the tv.

When my daughter was just over one, I started doing a "Momma's quiet time" twice a day for a half hour. I lay down on the couch with a book and said, "It's Momma's quiet time now, you need to play by yourself." After a few months she became familiar with the concept, and she often wanted to have her own "kite tie," as she called it. When she gave up napping, I told her that she could use her naptime for quiet time, and that's the way it's always been. She can do whatever she wants in her room as long as she doesn't come out and I can't hear her. I find this to be preferable to the tv, which I don't want to have on/hear anyway.

I recently picked up a Wiggles cd (not a video) at the library after my neighbor raved about how much her daughter loved the Wiggles. It's a cute cd, the lyrics are clever, and I don't mind the music. My daughter adores it and often asks to hear the Wiggles as soon as she wakes up in the morning. She asks for it several times during the day. I said to my husband recently, "Aren't you glad we never started the tv habit?" I don't mind putting on music over and over for her, but I would not want to be nagged to watch tv over and over.

I plan not to let my daughter watch tv until she's at least 8, though, so you can see on which side of the fence I sit.

Good luck!

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bunnysmomma- everything you said is what echoes through my head each and every time i find myself wanting to put in baby einstein! and, tracymom, everything you said is the words from my dh inside my head. ds LOVES watching movies and it really gets to me, so why would i want to encourage it? but when 2-3pm hits, we are a miserable twosome! we have tried the quiet time thing and he either cries or runs around laughing like it is a game, which is far from what i have in mind for quiet time. so, when you say a couple of months, exactly how many months did it take for your dc to get used to the idea? maybe we need to try the quiet time thing again, it is a good tool for our babes to learn to wind down a fast moving little body and give other people, mommies
, a little bit of R&R. maybe that is a whole different post, but any ideas on getting quiet time to wrk? ds simply will not lie down unless i am reading him a book, which at that time of day (after reading proably 30-40 books already, we read ALOT w/o television) reading a book literally puts me to sleep. ELlieB, we tried the book on tape thing which he LOVES, but he needs like a new book on tape every 3-4 days to keep his interest. our library has a horrible selection so were having to buy ds books on tape twice a week! maybe it is worth it, that was really working. do you have any favorites that are 20 min long or more? we love little bear and frog and toad, any more great ones out there? thank you moms, i have been thinking sooooo so very hard about this, and things are just starting to come clear.

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My dd likes her Berenstain Bears tape the most. We have had several out from the library that aren't fantastic but she enjoys all of them. She doesn't mind listening to the same one over and over though. Our library doesn't have a great selection of books on tape either and a lot of them are too short. She also likes to listen to kids music during her quiet time , especially the Wee Sing CD's.
My DD has is trying to give up naps too. I'm not as anti-tv as some of the other posters, but compared to DH, who NEEDS the tv on every waking moment, I'm a fanatic! I want to start doing quiet time every pm with DD, but don't have any good kids calming music, so right now she picks a video and has to stay on the couch while it's on. She usually picks up a couple books and a stuffed animal or 2 and goes back and forth beween reading to the animals and watching the tape. Sometimes she falls asleep. So I don't think that a video is a bad thing, especially if you have such a terrible afternoon if you don't get any mom time. You gotta do what works. His brain won't rot if he watches a video or two a day, especially if the rest of the time is spent with quality involvement with people.

Originally Posted by BunnysMomma
Also, tv is extremely stimulating to kids, which is why most kids' behavior gets worse after "relaxing" in front of the tv.
YES! This has soooooooooo been my experience with ds. I had fallen into the (ugly, ugly) habit of using TV just to get some downtime and MAN, the shift in his behavior was awful. He turned into something that I practically didn't recognize. It was like he was strung out. Plus, I suddenly had the added power struggle over turning the thing off.

You may not have the same experience. (I happen to have one of those kids who goes zombified in front of the tube... some other mamas I know have the TV on quite often and their kids rarely stop to watch). But it's worth considering, nonetheless.

I didn't see how old your ds is. Mine is 3.5 and for the last year has been trying desparately to drop his nap. (He's never been particularly fond of sleep :LOL). He really still *needs* one, though. 3-4 is our "witching hour" when he doesn't nap (which is often) because it's the time he should really be asleep. I've found that if I really get him a ton of physical activity earlier in the day, that time is actually easier even if he doesn't nap, because he's actually willing to chill out for awhile and just look at a book (and sometimes - though rarely - that will put him to sleep). When he doesn't get enough activity early in the day, that time is hellish because he's at the end of his rope but still has pent-up energy that he doesn't know what to do with it.

Anyway, don't know if any of that is helpful, but just thought I'd throw it out there.
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i came to post similar to the op, but my ds gave up naps almost 2 years ago, when he was just 2. we have, until last week, resisted the video/tv as a substitue all this time and have endured absolutely hideous afternoon behavior from him for years. hysterical crying, hitting, slamming doors, and generally falling apart from about 1:30 til his 7:30 bedtime. unfortunately, he is a very "active" book listener, always asking tons of questions, and stories thus do not relax him at all- they hyper-stimulate his mind, which is great, but not for supposed down-time. he gets too moody and cries at sad pats, bounces off the wall at funny parts, etc. when he is too tired. music, too, makes him move all around and hypes him up, which just makes for a worse crash later on. i recently had a baby, and last week we moved to a new house. ds has had so much change in his life,and his afternoon behavior worsened. so, for the very first time, we tried a video one afternoon after resisting for so long. After 45 minutes of watching, he had an amazingly happy afternoon. we have done it several times since, and with the same results. obviously, since i waited 2 years o give in, this is not my preference or first choice, but so far, if it is the first activity that seems to relax him- regardless of what the research suggests, i'm going to allow it and see how it goes.
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Wow, well I know my kid watches way too much TV, but she sure isn't a "monster", nor is she "zoned out". In fact, she usually plays at something while she is watching, and is quite capable of extended alone play time (even with no TV). So obviously I would have no problem with only a half-hour a day to give you some down time, ESPECIALLY since this is a very temporary thing. (and I think a half hour would be a huge goal for us, lol).

OTOH, I think that Bunnysmama's post makes a good point, if not watching TV is that important to you, that much of a priority, then there are other ways to make do. Now, instilling a daily "quiet time" might not work for you, simply b/c in a few short months he'll be at the school, by the time it starts to sink in, it may not be so necessary. But I'm sure that is also not the only solution, if you don't want any TV.

I think as parents it's very important for us to define our goals/values/priorities, and also which ones fall lower down on the list. For us, eating organic meat and dairy is a big priority, even when finances are tough. OTOH, homebirthing wasn't a huge priority for me. BFing totally is, vegetarianism isn't.

We all have our own sets of values. The important thing is, you can always find a way. It just depends on balancing how important no TV is to you, versus the situation you are in right now.
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As you can tell from my username, I've BTDT (and am still doing it!)

I too sometimes longingly think that using TV would help - but I really don't believe that it would - in the long run! I keep reminding myself that I'm enduring short-term pain for long-term pain. I believe that little kids who don't become accustomed to being entertained with TV grow into big kids who still know how to entertain themselves. I'm saving myself from years of "Mom, there's nothing to do!!!!!"

Also, I think it's MUCH easier never to start the TV habit than to start it (even in a small way) and then later try to cut back. I know several families who began with "just a little bit" of TV - but the amount crept up and up and up until their kids are now watching (what I consider to be) lots and lots. Those kids get bored easily now and ask for TV daily.

My kids are 2 and 4. The late afternoon is often a challenge. (Ds2 stopped napping at 16 months!!!!!) But we get through it somehow, every day. "No TV" is very important to me (see BunnysMama's post for more reasons) and since TV is just not an option, we manage.
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wow, thank you moms! this issue is becoming much more clear for me and i appreciate all the advice SO much! i think i should try the wquiet time again and books on tape, but if things continue how they are now i think we could try a 30 min viseo and see how it goes. dragonfly- i am RIGHT THERE WITH YA!!!! its amazing how much ds, 3yrs, would sit "plugged in" and zoned out in front of a tv if i let him. ahhhh!

dh and i are realizing though that this is not really a little stage he is going to just work through. he really does need our help figuring out a way to rest and rejuvenate for the rest of the day, and i know deep down teaching him to be quiet with his own thoughts is a great tool he would benefit greatly from. but, can i do it? i sure hope so!!! if not, i know i am not "harming" him if i pop a movie in, but for now we are going to give quiet time another test run!

thank you so much again, it is great to hear everyones experiences! i feel so much better!
Like someone else said, my ds is an active listener. He cannot sit and listen to me read him a story. He's never been one to relax to even the softest music, he has to move. At first when he gave up his naps, I just let him go until he ran out of gas. Not good. By dinner he was mean and whiny, not good for any of us. We tried quiet time, but it never worked. We tried no talking and just taking a "rest" together (couldn't call it a nap

Finally we tried movies. They work for him. He needs something to keep his interest just enough to stay awake and listen if he likes. But it also has to be something kind of boring, not a Disney movie or something like that. One of his aunts bought him "The Life of Mammals" series from the Discovery Store for his birthday. It's narrated by Richard Attenbourough and it is soothing, is all about animals (his favorite thing in the world) and has very little excitement. If we're having a rough day and he feels like he needs to take a break from the excitement or stress, he will ask to watch an animal movie. He's learned a lot from the series, more than I know about animals for sure!

It was hard for me to go to the tv for his much needed break during the day. I prefer quiet...I don't listen to the radio at home, I rarely turn on the tv. I really enjoy being able to hear myself think (which I can't do with noise at all, even the dishwasher distracts me). But it works for him so it's fine with me. I'm trying to work with dh on cutting back on how much the tv is on when he is home but it is really hard. He is a total tv head, he would leave it on 24 hours a day if he could. If ds was plopping himself in front of the tv all the time I would worry, but most days he doesn't watch more than one show. I can't really get him to sit and watch a movie anymore either. He's just too busy!
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My DH and I disagree about the TV. I call it garbage and he calls it the magic box of wonder LOL. We have agreed though to limit what our daughters will view. We have a TIVo so they aren't exposed to ads but still, that only curbs part of the problem as watching TV is totally passive and doesn't stimulate creativity.

That wasn't really good enough for me so I made some CD's of family videos and pics. When the kids *have* to watch (when they or I am very sick with flu for example and we are at our wits end) I will put one of these in. My daughter still becomes still as a statue and sits transfixed but at least she is seeing images of the people who love her and will be reinforcing happy memories.
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