Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, mamas, my older DD (2 yo) watches WAY WAY WAYYYYYY too much tv. It's insane. It's totally and completely my fault. I don't know what else to do to keep her occupied enough so that I can take care of the baby, wash dishes, do everything else I need to do to keep up with the daily tasks of a SAHM.<br><br>
I know HOW to turn the tv off (I see the button right there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) I just don't know what to do with her once it <i>is</i> off. How can I keep her occupied for decent stretches of time without completely losing my mind? The tv is literally on ALL day in this house. It's so out of control. I feel like I'm flailing around as a mama as it is, so losing use of the tv as a babysitter sounds horrific to me, but I <i>know</i> it's not good for her. I even catch my newborn staring at the tv whenever she can. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Please please please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
can you make some play dough, let her play with that when you are in the kitchen working, have her help you, when you are cleaning, give her a job... My tv is only on for maybe 1 hour a day when it's just me and the kids at home... i hate the noice, it seems to just make things so much more nuts with it... we haven't had cable/satillite since May so that has helped although i do so miss some of my shows, we plan to turn it back in when we move next month but for now it's staying off, and we only have movies/dvds to watch (sad thing is was have over 200 of thoes! )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">: subbing
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,156 Posts
my ds#2 is 2.5 and he will play play-dough for 2 hours at a time! sure, it can be messy, but it is really really not so bad to clean up once it dries... I just keep all the tools and stuff in a box and give him a few at a time (30 minutes for these ones, etc). He loves to play with flour, too--and this isn't too bad to clean up either.<br><br>
I think you need to break the habit, and once you do your child will find things to keep busy...<br><br>
Take all the sheets off the bed and jump... Play with blocks...<br><br>
Get outside to the park/physical play really early in the day so your child takes a long nap--go to a community kindergym if there is one, or the library... take walks to collect leaves.<br><br>
Unplug the TV and just say, oh, tv is broken--oh well.. or put it away in the closet for good. After a few weeks you will not miss it.<br><br>
We have been a mostly tv free house for years now and my kids love books--even the 2.5 year old will look at books for 30 minutes at a time...<br><br>
Read, read, read--there are some stories I know so well that I can just read them with my eyes closed!<br><br>
good luck--it is so worth any pain you suffer for a few weeks to turn off the tv... Even if it is hard at first, and perhaps stuff gets messed up more or the dishes pile up-- after a withdrawl period you'll just find other stuff to do...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,874 Posts
subbing- ds watches a movie pretty much every day (we dont have cable). i need it sometimes for bed time when dd is still awake and fussy and wont let me give ds the time he needs to fall asleep. also sometimes in the morning or after a nap he can be extremely cranky and if dp is at work i cant give him the one on one he needs, and a tv will usually calm him down. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> other than that, we dont use it.<br>
i have found the best way to keep baby and toddler happy is to keep busy! go places, do cleaning projects you can include your toddler in, have playdates, bake, garden, etc. my dd literally spends 90% of her day in the sling, entertained and soothed by being with me and watching our activities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
After glancing over your blog posts, its sounds like you and I have something in common: mess avoidance. My dd delights in every job around the house, but I so rarely have the energy to let her help with dishes!!! Now she has taken to pulling the stopper in the bathroom sink and filling it up to splash in it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I try to indulge when I feel up to it so I'm not saying no all the time.<br><br>
So my guess is that when you're asking for tv-free entertainment ideas, you don't necessarily want things like painting or craft projects, or even, like me, the billions of pieces things like blocks, puzzles, and dress up. Yet making messes seems to be what toddlerhood is all about. (My dd specifically asked if I wanted eggs for breakfast the other morning so she could "make a mess" cracking them!)<br><br>
Here are a few of my saving graces:<br>
Books with buttons, especially songs (yes the noise is annoying, but no more so than tv, and she entertains herself for a long time with these);<br>
Etch-a-sketch and magna-doodle (endless creativity, no mess);<br>
Paint with water books (same idea);<br>
When it's nice outside, a paintbrush and water bucket on concrete;<br><b>A few</b> stuffed animals & kitchen utensils (really she'll play forever w/ a paper towel roll; they only need a few props to get started)<br><br>
I'll try to think of more later - my dinner is served!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>greencurry</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6497196"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
So my guess is that when you're asking for tv-free entertainment ideas, you don't necessarily want things like painting or craft projects, or even, like me, the billions of pieces things like blocks, puzzles, and dress up. Yet making messes seems to be what toddlerhood is all about. (My dd specifically asked if I wanted eggs for breakfast the other morning so she could "make a mess" cracking them!)</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think I'm so burned out that I can't bear the thought of more messes, but I need to do something different. None of us (me or my DDs) are thriving at home right now. Maybe I need more messes! Maybe I need to get it out of my head that staying tidy and clean is a good thing! We do paint, but then I spend more time cleaning that up than she spent actually painting, KWIM?<br><br>
DD#2 also HATES the car, so going places is so stressful and then I have to work super hard at not letting it get to me and affect the fun we could have.<br><br>
I probably just need to take the plunge of turning off the tv and just deal with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,659 Posts
How old is your new baby? It got a lot better for me around 3 months old or so. I can get out of the house every day now, before I could only manage every few days and dd1 was getting stir crazy. I have been cutting down on tv now but have no plans to cut it out completely.<br><br>
I think some toddlers are more clingy (especially right after the birth of a sibling) or have a shorter attention span. My dd will do 5-10 minutes of an activity and move onto something else. Some days we have done play dough, drawing, books, baby dolls, and blocks and its only 9 am. I try to use the tv for my morning shower only, sometimes an extra episode if I need to make some phone calls or something. Then a 20 minute show while I make dinner. Other chores I can do whenever she is playing by herself (which doesn't last long), or they wait till nap or bedtime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,081 Posts
I agree with what others suggested, find new activities. I also hate messy activities, have you seen the color wonder finger paints? They're clear and only work on the color wonder paper. They also have markers that do the same thing. Chalk boards and chalk isn't too messy.<br><br>
If I want to kick back and read a book or magazine I'll let her play in the bathtub, give her bubbles or washable fingerpaints. Of course I don't leave her alone for this activity but it's the only thing I've found that keeps her from grabbing my book. This is also great because the mess stays in the tub.<br><br>
if I need to do laundry, at your dd's age I gave her a basket of socks to play with. Now my dd is 3 she helps by putting socks in the drawers or stacking towels. She also helps me put things in the dryer and washing machine. She helps with dishes, sweeping and dusting. She'll play in the water, hold the dustpan or wipe off tables. I'll have her help me pick up her blocks or crayons before I sweep. Not that I really need the help but it all keeps her occupied and toddlers love to help and copy what adults are doing.<br><br>
We still watch tv but I limit her to 2 hours per day. After her limit is up I let her know she's watched enough and it's mommy's turn or we're going to do something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
Be ready, the first 2 weeks without TV are HARD. But then she will suddenly stop begging and fussing about it (at least that is with us and several other families I know).<br><br>
Controlled mess is what you need. I have an art closet that I pull out 1 project at a time. I have boxes with "New" toys, and boxes with different multipiece toys (the lego box, the puzzle box, etc.). That way it isn't too overwhelming.<br><br>
FLYLADY.net is a great help too!!<br><br>
Involve her in everything you do, pull out a stepstool and let her help wash dishes, or stir the soup or giver her her own bowl and spoon.<br><br>
You can do it!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,428 Posts
I have cut the TV time to almost nill, I have 3 that still nap, so I will put a movie in for them, and about 15 minutes later they are asleep, other than that, they watch a show on PBS called Cyberchase at 5:00. Otherwise, the TV is off all day. Sooo much smoother! We have a big family room where all of our toys are, and they play down there. I have a "reading corner", with comfy chairs and books, a playtent, and other toys for them. They keep quite busy. Right now my kids are HUUUGE into coloring, with markers, I just buy the washable ones. Even my 2 year old daycare kids love it. Cutting is another great thing, I buy kid safe scissors, these ones I bought through a daycare supply shop, they cut, but the child cannot cut themselves. I also bought big beads for them to string onto a necklace, and the little ones like to put them into a container, dump them out, put them back in, etc. etc. I also will get out cotton balls and let them play with those.<br><br>
Hope some of those ideas help! It's hard to do it, but once you eliminate it, it's o much better!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,191 Posts
The first week or so is hard- for you and them. TV is a comfort and it can literally feel scary without it. But it is totally great that you recognize it is not healthy. Here are my tips:<br><br>
1.) Go cold turkey. Ouch. I know. But really, it is a lot easier to say "I can't turn it on becuase it's not there." than "No, not 10 minutes. No, not this one show. No, not even a little if I have to make a phone call...". If you can't get rid of it all together, put in in the garage or a closet.<br><br>
2.) Research the effects on TV and young children and babies. It will keep you motivated to keep the TV off.<br><br>
3.) At first, you need to plan. Schedule out your day. Adjust as needed. Go for walks. Go to the library. Sign up to volunteer with the kids. Visit friends. Etc. Eventually, DC will learn to play on her own and before you know it you will be saying "How does anyone find time for TV?"<br><br>
4.) Cleaning & mess. This, actually, is a lot easier once the TV is off. Becuase (I don't think this will come as a surprise) YOU end up watching a lot of TV! If Oprah isn't there, re-runs of ER or a Baby Story, the news, heck, might as well fold the laundry! Before when we had TV I always seemed to be saying "I just don't have the time." To my chagrin, my house is 5x cleaner with no TV, DH and I lost 20 lbs, I now cook dinner every night and even the dog gets walked every day, not to mention that this week alone, DS and I went to the zoo, had gymnastics class, went swimming, to story time at the library, the park twice and had friends over to play (and moms chat and coffee) three times, in addition to our chores, walks, and free playing.<br><br>
5.) Keep toys in the family area and work near toddler playing. She will play, you do your thing. Trust me- it will happen.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
We sometimes struggle with the TV challenge too. Like any habit, it can be hard to break and there is always possible relapse (for the kiddos and the parents!). All the PP has some great thoughts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Here is a great thing working for us right now.<br><br>
We have sink time. Both my 19 month old and my three yo will play endlessly at the sink. They get cups and spoons and clean and cook and sing away. We all LOVE it! The bonus for me is no big mess!<br><br>
I also have figured out what music my dd likes -( jazzy piano, celtic/folk and the occanional smattering of good ol' rock'n'roll). So instead of automatically turning on the tv, I often suggest we listen to some music while we play/dance/clean/draw/whatever. We also have some great storytellers CD that she requests sometimes. Some kids need audio imput, I guess. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br><br>
Good luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Only two shows today! Woo Hoo! Of course the rest of our day was a disaster, but I'll take a small accomplishment! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,899 Posts
Just do it. Decide on the amount of time you will watch tv during the day. Turn it on for the proscribed times, and leave it off, NO MATTER WHAT the rest of the time.<br><br>
Let the house go a bit until you get into a new routine and your dd learns to occupy herself other ways. Juggling two kids is difficult, and the fact of the matter is that my house just isn't going to look so great right now. I am often called away from a chore by a child who needs some attention. Ds1 actually entertains himself really well... until I'm actually trying really hard to accomplish something! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But I really believe (and I've read the studies) that too much television is damaging to children's moral, emotional, and intellectual development. So, to me leaving the tv off is more important than getting things done... even if it means we eat a quick, "pick up" dinner.<br><br>
Can you move your tv to a different location so it is not so easily accessible? We only have one tv, and it is downstairs in our family room. Most of the time, we're upstairs on the main floor of the house, so it's not as convenient to watch television. That way, we have to actually consider what's worth watching and when.<br><br>
Good luck! It's really hard to get out of those habbits, and you should be commended for trying to change. It will take some adjustment, but after a while you won't miss it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts
The best way I've found to avoid the TV is to get out of the house. If your child is like mine, the house just gets boring after awhile - he's played with all the toys, checked everything out, etc. He needs a new environment, because he usually asks for the tv or computer when he is bored. (For example, if I get a phone call, he starts asking for the computer 99% of the time).<br><br>
I'm hoping it will be a bit easier when he has a sibling. Maybe when your little one is a bit older, they will be able to play together and not need the outside entertainment (or the "mommy as playdate" which I often end up!). Maybe invite friends over as well and get out something interesting for them to play together.<br><br>
Good luck and good for you for taking the plunge!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
I got rid of my tv and vcr but not completely. I put them in our storage closet so that we could take them out and treat ourselves to a movie once a month or so. I think the best way of not watching tv is to put it away so that it is not a tempation. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,795 Posts
I definitly use the tv to get things done around the house. I feel guilty about it but am coming to terms with it. Our dvd player broke though and we get no tv stations (Well 1, but there's no kids shows on it) I did hook up our old vcr though! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
we play in the yard several times a day, get out weekly, and I do give them activities to do but the tv is the only way I can get a shower some days! I hate it and feel alot of guilt about it as I never wanted my kids to watch alot of tv. they really don't in comparison to some mainstream families I know, but I still think they do in my mind! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> current favorite are pooh, spongebob <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> and a baby animal video. they might watch 2 tapes a day (usually one in the morning and one while I make dinner)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
Everyone here has really great suggestions. If you DON't do cold turkey, could you try this approach -- letting the TV on but putting it on something REALLY boring and uniteresting to a child -- say C-SPAN or something? (Not that it is dull for adults, but for kiddos....) Maybe if the kids see that TV is on but really not fun to watch, then they won't really pay any attention. Hide the remote and put duct tape on the panel on the TV so they can't turn the station.<br>
Just a weird idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I didn't read through the other comments yet, but here is our story. We rarely watched tv, but after I had my second I started letting my oldest watch tv. He became obsessed!!!!! Every time I tried to turn it off he threw a fit and would turn it back on. We actually took the tv out of the room and didn't hook it up again. The first day or two was hard for me, but he adapted quickly. On his own he started doing more creative and constructive things. It has been over a year since we did this and he NEVER asks to watch tv and is never bored. We did eventually hook the tv up in one of the rooms we don't use much so that dh and I can watch on occasion. It's a hard step to take, but I recommend just getting rid of it.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top