3 yo seems obsessed with tv and video

(5 Posts)
33goingon64 Wed 06-Aug-14 08:41:07

My days at home with DS are driving me nuts and I worry I'm doing something wrong. His default choice of activity is to watch tv or videos on the ipad.

If we're out for the day it's not a problem and he's a sociable, bright and articulate child, interested in the real world etc and he goes to day nursery 2 days. But, if we're just at home he asks for the ipad or tv and left to it will sit and watch it for ages. He really pays attention and tells me about it later, which I somehow find more acceptable - it's not just on in the background.

My worries are: why does he not prefer to play when other kids I see seem to; am I not providing enough interesting activities for him; he claims to be tired when asking for tv so am I tiring him out on days out and nursery days?

I've always been worried about kids and tv and we kept it to 10 mins before bed until about a year ago. I do find tv useful when I need to do the ironing or cook lunch or whatever, but he asks for it at other times. I actually think a little bit of tv every day is fine and don't want to fill every moment of the day with wholesome activities. It's the fact that it's his default preferred activity and he gets quite sad when I say no.

Some of my friends have the tv on all the time and others hardly let their kids watch it at all, so I know there are many different approaches and not one 'right' way.

Iggly Wed 06-Aug-14 08:44:02

He prefers it because it is addictive for some kids. Some children get sucked in to it (like mine) and others don't.

I would restrict it to a set time of day and leave it at that.

What does he have to play with? Mine started to get into lego at that age and playmobil. I would play with him though.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 06-Aug-14 08:44:29

Have you tried saying no?

If I were you I'd put the iPad out of sight, and out of mind, and enforce strict TV rules. 15 mins before bed etc.

Remember that you are the adult, and the child won't hate you when he's grown up just because you didn't let him watch TV when he was three.

Oh, and I'd make an effort to set him up with a game, and play with him, or engage him in whatever you're doing - cooking, dusting, gardening, whatever...

IAmAPaleontologist Wed 06-Aug-14 08:50:51

When mine were small and went through phases of asking all the time and throwing strops when I said no I turned it off at the plug and told them it was broken. When it didn't turn on they completely accepted that it was broken and went to do something else.

I think it is far easier to have a set time for TV/Ipad when they are little, helps to stop them asking at other times. Pick a time that works for you, eg while you are cooking dinner or after lunch if they still get tired and need a little quiet time, or while you shower int he morning. My lot are watching TV right now as I've been in the shower and I should be getting dressed but I'm procrastinating.

33goingon64 Wed 06-Aug-14 08:57:26

Seems a good idea to have set times e.g. when preparing lunch. It did work like this until fairly recently so might just take a bit of effort to reinstate. I should stand firm but when he whinges I get angry

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