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So, I have three kids: 4, 2.5 and almost 9 months old. When DD2 (the 3rd) was born, I started to get really bad about letting the kids watch videos/DVDs. We don't have cable, and around here that means we don't get any channels, so no commercials at least, but I have been letting them watch WAY too many videos. I'm not happy about it.<br><br>
Can anybody give me some ideas of what to do instead of watching videos? It usually starts out like this: baby needs to go down for a nap, and I need something for the older 2 to do so they wont get into trouble while I nurse her to sleep. Then they're watching the video, and it is tempting to just go around and get stuff done (or just surf the web or whatever) while they finish watching whatever they're watching. They're easily watching a few hours a day.<br><br>
Tell me what you do instead of watch TV or how you have gotten out of the habit of watching. I don't think I will cut it down entirely, but I think like an hour a day tops would be OK.<br><br>
Help?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Veronica
 

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Honestly? I just turned the TV off; she entertains herself just fine without it.<br><br>
Of course, I only have 1 DD, and she's too young (21 months) to be watching TV anyway; unfortunately, my DH got her started on it, and I let the trend continue. So now, I just...turn the TV off.<br><br>
The weather here has been fantastic, and our new house has a cute little fenced-in yard, so instead of turning on the TV, I open the door. She plays outside and I can see her the whole time while I'm inside cleaning the ground floor. When I need to go into the basement or upstairs, I bring her to her playroom and play with her until she's sufficiently distracted, and do my thing.<br><br>
Maybe for your two, you could...I don't know, washable paints? Homemade clay? Puzzles? Blocks? Toy cars? Felt board?
 

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I understand that you need something for the older 2 to do while you get the baby to sleep. That is when our older DD usually watches a 30-min video or taped show. It's up to you to stop at one video and not "be tempted" to do other things.<br><br>
Our TV is hidden in a cabinet and is not on unless DD2 is going down for her nap.<br><br>
Other things your older 2 could do while you are putting the baby down:<br>
water play in the kitchen sink<br>
legos or other building-block things<br>
watercolor painting<br>
cutting pictures out of magazines (they have "safe scissors" that only cut paper)<br>
stringing beads (if you think the 2.5-year-old will not eat them)<br>
playing with play dough<br><br>
You could also read to them while you nurse the baby down, or play a game, or hang out with them on the floor while they build with blocks or whatever.<br><br>
I don't see anything wrong with the older ones watching a video while you get baby down to sleep. You just have to turn off the TV when it's over and move on to something else. If it's getting too difficult to do that, unplug the TV and tell them it's broken. Or just get rid of it.<br><br><br>
HTH!
 

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A TV-viewing reduction plan could be to find DVDs of half-hour shows, instead of hour-long shows or feature-length movies. Have in mind a super-fun activity (fun for you and fun for them) to do afterward, so you can go immediately from the TV to something awesome.
 

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We have moved back and forth between tv/no tv a few times with dd, lol. Right now we are in a "tv" mode....but it is getting less and less as ds gets older.<br><br>
What has always worked for us is simple--if dc is asking to watch tv, or watching tv, offer your time. Dd will ALWAYS choose time with me over the tv. Well, the exception to that is that she is now old enough to understand time and schedules, and knows that Cyberchase comes on at 4 pm on PBS....and she would rather watch that than spend time with me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> But as far as videos go, or when she was younger, I just offered some time reading/playing/etc, and she forgot about tv.<br><br>
After about 2 weeks of that, she pretty much forgets about the tv altogether, as she is much too busy doing all of the stuff she forgets about when she is in a "tv" mode.
 

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Unplug 'em. That's what we do! That way, the kids can't even push the button.. or they can, but they don't turn on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
We turn on the music during the day and that gets the kids dancing.
 

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I got into a bad TV habit with my boys, so I went cold turkey. We're Catholic, so I gave it up for Lent. The first week was really hard, but after that it was easy. I had tried just reducing the time they spent watching, but it was too easy for me to do what you mentioned - letting them watch just a little more so I can clean up the kitchen/make a phone call/close my eyes for 5 minutes. I found I had to be a little more creative to find ways to entertain them when I had to get something done, but I think that's probably good for all of us.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Can anybody give me some ideas of what to do instead of watching videos? It usually starts out like this: baby needs to go down for a nap, and I need something for the older 2 to do so they wont get into trouble while I nurse her to sleep. Then they're watching the video, and it is tempting to just go around and get stuff done (or just surf the web or whatever) while they finish watching whatever they're watching. They're easily watching a few hours a day.</div>
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I have recently instituted ONE show a day, 30 minutes or less rule.<br><br>
Up till now we've been pretty TV/DVD daily free. My 7 year old however, likes to watch stuff and nags every day for it, so this is my compromise. I don't encourage TV (but I totally sympathize with you and understand what brought you to this point.)<br><br>
My son is currently addicted to Avatar, hence the nagging (an INCREDIBLE martial arts cartoon - IMO best for ages 6 and up) but my 3 yr old <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> watches it too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"> I am going to start having him watch it without her (when he wakes up in the am, before she gets up) because she has been more aggressive lately and that MIGHT be the culprit.<br><br>
The shows they watch are pretty tame... Max & Ruby (thank God my loves it) and the like.<br><br>
Anyway, my daughter does ask for Dora and Blues Clues, but I just say no and change the subject and include her in what I'm doing and she forgets about it.<br><br>
I will NOT put it on for her during the day if we are home.<br><br>
She loves to play pretend so I have tons of toys (yard sales) and I play/talk to her along side her as I do my stuff.<br><br>
You can give your kids ideas.<br><br>
Make some homemade playdoh (so much better than the store-bought toxic smelling stuff) and have them help you in the steps. You do the first batch first, and then you can decide what they can do (pour, mix in the colors, etc...) THEN play with it. Keep it for other days. Repeat. Now that's something you do have to set time for to do with them, but you are trying to wean them from the TV. You need to show them that the house is a FUN place to be. You need to reintroduce them to their own bodies, (fingers, hands, arms) and imaginations.<br><br>
"let's build a fort with mommy's scarves!" or sheets, or whatever you have.<br><br>
Let them paint with water colors. Or paint. My children love to paint.<br><br>
Give them HUGE sheets of paper to color.<br><br>
Line up the stuffed animals and play zoo. (You get the game started and then they keep it going.)<br><br>
There has to be more ideas online.<br><br>
My son is upset I never taught him to use the remote like his friends know how to. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/FIREdevil.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="devil"> bwaaah, haaa haa! Of course not. Do I look like an idiot??! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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My main goal in limiting TV is to have it be exception rather than the rule. I don't want to build it into our daily routine, but I do think it is OK to indulge and enjoy in moderation.<br><br>
We got rid of Direct TV when we moved a year and a half ago, and once we were dependent on antenna our screen hours were reduced.<br><br>
At our house when TV is out of sight it is out of mind, but when it is right there they ask for it. So we got rid of our big TV a few months ago and after a few weeks replaced it with a small (13") one that could be put away in the closet.<br><br>
Then I put a bin of books right next to the little TV so they kind of compete when the TV is out. We also got pet rats just after downsizing the TV, and they have been a great distraction since the rat cage is in the living room and bigger than the TV.<br><br>
I like that we still have the TV for days when one of the kids is sick or I am feeling overwhelmed. When I start to slip and we find ourselves watching too much TV then I just put it back in the closet for a day or so and we are back on track.<br><br>
HTH
 

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One more thing that helped:<br><br>
Switch from DVD to VHS.... rather than starting over at the end of 30 minute video it is over and you have to rewind so there's a more natural turn off point.
 
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