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Feeling crap about letting my two year old watch TV

(51 Posts)
Skang Thu 23-Jan-14 08:24:14

I've got into a situation where I'm 'having' to let my 2.3 year old watch TV for 30 mins to an hour whilst I get dinner ready. If I don't she is in the kitchen crying, whining and pushing and pulling me to play with her. Reasoning or telling her off does absolutely nothing, quite the opposite. I think that by that time she is tired and has normally got tired of playing on her own (not that I leave her alone all day!) and so isn't easy to distract with toys.

I hate it though! Seeing her staring blankly at the screen. She has also started talking constantly about TV programs. I just don't know what the alternative is. If I leave her to cry and push me she doesn't stop, she can go on for an hour and it's dangerous. I also find it fucking annoying and it's hard to not snap at her when she is pushing my legs and getting between me and the oven etc.

This morning she is ill and can't go to preschool. She has been crying on and off since we got up, not her fault obviously as she's ill, and the TV demands have already begun. It seems to be taking over. I feel like I have to give in because she's ill and grumpy and I don't know what the hell to do with her.

What can I do to get out of this? Or am I being precious?

When I was pregnant I said I'd not let her watch TV at all until she was much older!

I can't put a gate on the kitchen because of the layout.

Galena Thu 23-Jan-14 08:33:27

DD watched cbeebies from quite young. It hasn't harmed her at all in my opinion. She became fascinated with letters and numbers early and is now way ahead at school.

Give yourself a break.

LittleBabyPigsus Thu 23-Jan-14 08:36:31

Why is TV so terrible? It's not like you're letting her watch anything inappropriate, it's just cbeebies etc right? It's fine. TV hasn't killed anyone!

wigglesrock Thu 23-Jan-14 08:37:48

I've done it with mine, I don't know anyone in real life that doesn't. Peppa Pig taught my dd3 to count in French, Something Special taught her signs, Show Me Show Me helped her practice nursery rhymes, Alphablocks is recommended by my dd2s primary school teacher.

BigW Thu 23-Jan-14 08:39:56

I think you're worrying over nothing. Rather stare blankly than cry her eyes out! There was a study done recently that showed that TV has absolutely no impact on IQ or attention span or anything at all. Enjoy making dinner in peace!

MummaMouse Thu 23-Jan-14 08:40:08

Its fine.

its what tv is for. to be fair, unless you want to read to her all day there isnt much you can do with a poorly child - she is not going to want to play or be stimulated! ds id 2.10 months and we are currently watching spiderman which has zero educational value but we both have colds and im 36w pg. the tv will go back in later this afternoon after he has refused to nap but will at least give him/me a bit of down time.

Amber76 Thu 23-Jan-14 08:42:56

I think watching tv is fine - it is fantastic for the imagination and is really entertaining. I have a two year old and the tv is often on in the background and she dips in and out of it. As long as you get out of the house and do other activities, etc. with her then I think tv does no real harm.
My toddler was sick a few months ago and I let her have the pillow and duvet on the couch so she could watch tv as a special treat - its a comforting distraction.

RudyMentary Thu 23-Jan-14 08:47:24

<<confession>>
All 4 of mine have always watched loads of TV.
...... and I mean loads. They also don't read books blush

They are now all teens and older.

They can all read/write and have either been to Uni or intend to. They are well behaved, sociable, polite and don't give me many problems tbh (for teens)

They have no medical conditions and none of them need glasses!

knittedslippersx3 Thu 23-Jan-14 08:49:32

Nothing wrong with letting her watch tele. My dd is now 18 and Barney the Dinosaur taught her all she knows! Well, not everything but he did a pretty good job. She's turned out fine and not a tv addict.

Ubik1 Thu 23-Jan-14 08:52:20

What's better ? Your daughter whining and crying while you cook or contentedly zoning out in front of the TV while you cook?

mrsjay Thu 23-Jan-14 08:54:44

why is tv so bad you are not letting your toddler watch porn or a horror film are ya wink it is telly it is supposed to be entertaining and fun for them cbeebies is for children to enjoy relax

mumofboyo Thu 23-Jan-14 08:57:35

My 2y old watches tv most days he's at home - he's watching it now whilst dd is in bed and I'm pottering about getting jobs done and eating chocolate in secret and on mn. It hasn't done him any harm: he's great at speaking; he loves stories and most of his imaginative play is based upon Fireman Sam and Ben and Holly.

Ubik1 Thu 23-Jan-14 09:01:28

If you are worried then you could set limits right at the start so you could say..'ok, three Peppa Pigs and then the TV goes off' rather than just switching it off. Also some routine ie: 30 mins of TV after nursery as a regular thing tends to stop prolonged whining at other times.

But when they are unwell it's good to help them rest and TV/reading stories etc is good fir that.

Mine watch a fair bit if TV and play computer games and are perfectly well adjusted intelligent little girls.

mummeeee Thu 23-Jan-14 09:04:20

I agree with the other posters. Don't be too hard on yourself. This time won't last forever & if tv while you cook helps for the next few months so be it.

Your dd will no doubt go to pre-school soon & will be busy there I have a dd(5) at school & ds (3.5). With swimming lessons, after school activities (rainbows etc) Fridays are our only free evening. I positively encourage tv on a Friday while I cook. I'm tired & so are they.

I also think a fairly relaxed attitude to it makes it less appealing, iyswim. Like if you make crisps an absolute no, they're desperate for crisps & crisps become the most desirable thing on the planet. If you let her watch it & talk about it, you might find she realises some programmes aren't her faves and she comes wandering in & plays a bit even though she could be watching tv.

crochetedblanket Thu 23-Jan-14 09:16:13

I'm going to go against the grain. I really hate letting toddlers watch too much TV.

My DS is two and a half and he didn't watch a single thing until he was 24months. He now watches Ben and Holly and Peppa Pig, no cbeebies. I know how hard it is when they're whinging when you try and get stuff done. I either bring his toys in the kitchen, or get the Tupperware out. He'd sit for days playing with Tupperware!

I've read a couple of studies that say TV does stint the imagination of young ones because the colours and voices are so overwhelming, it makes real life boring. In France its illegal to call programs like alphablocks educational!

TV won't do much harm, buy we don't want to install the zombie slobbishness into DS at 2 years old. A 10 year old watching a few programmes mindlessly when he gets home from school is different to a toddler IMO. Try getting a nursery rhyme CD for background noise if you need it.

Cookethenook Thu 23-Jan-14 09:25:33

I didn't let my DS1 watch any tv until he was 3. biggest parenting mistake i ever made
He's now OBSESSED with it. It's his favorite thing and he goes on about it all the time, even though his TV time is limited (no tv before school, 30 mins of media time afterwards and an hour saturday and a film of the equivalent on sun).
DS2 has always been allowed tv in moderation and is much more chilled about it.

GoodtoBetter Thu 23-Jan-14 09:28:16

She's only talking about half an hour while she gets the dinner on, for goodness sake!

GoodtoBetter Thu 23-Jan-14 09:28:56

that was to crochetedblanket.

Skang Thu 23-Jan-14 09:33:32

Thank you all, that makes me feel better. I think I find it hard to be objective about studies. I'm glad to hear there is one which says it has no effect.

Crocheted blanket, the problem is that by that time of day she has no interest in her toys and wants to play with me or be picked up. She can bring her toys in the kitchen whenever she likes. She has never had any vague interest in playing with tupperware. We listed to music and story books daily, they don't distract her. I'm not sure how peppa pig is any better than cbeebies anyway?

GlendaTheGrizzlyPiggy Thu 23-Jan-14 09:34:47

Everything in moderation & all that jazz. I was a total telly addict as a kid, I used to scream blue murder if I missed Sesame Street according to my mum. It did me no harm.

I let DS watch Beebies probably from about age 2 for short bursts & he's now 4 and completely not arsed about the telly unless he's poorly.

DipDabDabDip Thu 23-Jan-14 09:36:48

I've let my 10mo watch bargain hunt baby tv occasionally it distracts her for half an hour so I can get on. This week I've not had the tele on and we've just played so far but I don't feel bad for letting her watch it.

pointless is not her favourite show, oh no!

LittleBabyPigsus Thu 23-Jan-14 09:38:35

30mins-1hr out of a whole day is nothing!

Chocotrekkie Thu 23-Jan-14 09:41:30

I had to change channels when dd at about 10 months started to clap one day when her dad came in. Realised she was paying attention to Jeremy Kyle.

We then went to cebeebies.

I really think half an hour a day is no problem, if the alternative is letting her cry her eyes out. Alternatives though would be:

- letting her play an app on ipad or smartphone (early research in this area suggests better than watching tv as interactive activity rather than passive)
- putting dinner in a slow cooker earlier in the day
- prepping most things whilst she has a nap or is easily distracted earlier in the day. For example earlier in the day you could chop all the veg for a stir fry then at dinner time it would take 5 minutes to cook it.
- sitting her on a chair/booster seat opposite you while you cook and give her a plastic knife and some veg to 'chop'

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