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To be sad about my three year old's constant requests for telly and the overwhelming tide of plastic and electronic crap? And WIBU

(89 Posts)
Sockywockydoodah Tue 17-Sep-13 09:23:46 take all the annoying flashing stuff to the charity shop and start again?

Has anyone successfully done this?

Or weaned their toddler off constant requests for the telly?

Or got them to be interested in playing with their own toys (as opposed enthusiastically playing with friends' toys when round their houses, but ignoring their own)?

Mumsyblouse Tue 17-Sep-13 09:26:31

Decide how much telly you want and stick to it, in a very simple clear way. So, if only at lunchtime for an hour, just do that.

I think children are always more interested in others' toys, this is pretty standard.

You seem like you are fantasising about a 1950's childhood in which we were all happy with a wooden top and a peg doll. You don't have to buy electronic crap yourself if you don't like it, but you are living in lala land if you think you can isolate your child from it forever, and indeed you are probably making it more alluring.

AnneUulmelmahay Tue 17-Sep-13 09:26:36

Yes get rid of the flashy stuff

Telly off

Rotate toys, trains and brio/happyland/duplo/whatever,store in shed/loft

bundaberg Tue 17-Sep-13 09:26:48

yes... take it all away!

i've done this a couple of times. you have a HORRIBLE first 48 hours or so and obv you do need to make more effort to entertain them. but after that it's lovely!

we stopped getting any broadcast tv a few years back after I got tired of having cbeebies on constantly. now they're just allowed to watch dvds, which are limitd.

i've also just banned ALL screens during the week because i'm so tired of the constant fighting over who gets to watch what or play which game and when.... so far we've had a lot more playing with lego and reading books,.

Lottapianos Tue 17-Sep-13 09:33:18

YANBU to be sad about it - so many children are absolutely hooked on screens from a young age and it has a worrying effect on their ability to attend and listen, which has a knock on effect on their language development.

Don't feel bad about saying 'no' to requests for TV or other screens - it's down to you to control how much they get used. I would get rid of the 'flashy' stuff too. Good luck - you're doing a good thing smile

friday16 Tue 17-Sep-13 09:34:27

Or weaned their toddler off constant requests for the telly?

It's not compulsory to have one, you know.

Sockywockydoodah Tue 17-Sep-13 09:36:27

We've defaulted to telly in the mornings as well as in the evenings since DS2 arrived...but he's over six months now so not early days at all.

DS1 starts shouting about the telly as soon as he wakes up now. sad

JimmyCorkhill Tue 17-Sep-13 09:50:55

This thread has come along at the right time for me.

We have recently allowed our DD1 (3 years old) to play CBeebies games and similar on the laptop. We were initially amazed at how quickly she gained control of the computer and rules of the games. It was also wonderful seeing her so engrossed and I used it as a babysitter whilst I prepared dinner, dealt with her baby sister etc.

It's only been a few weeks but OMG. She has become a nightmare. Massive tantrums when we turn the laptop off and a real attitude has appeared where she bosses us about and is becoming really rude. It's horrible. Suffice to say we are now stopping her laptop access.

I have read threads about teenagers becoming obnoxious after playing on consoles but I never thought that this would happen with 'educational' games, or happen so rapidly.

Sockywockydoodah Tue 17-Sep-13 10:37:23

It's really unpleasant, isn't it, Jimmy. DS1 shouted at us for about 15 mins this morning. Now happily fiddling with my old makeup (could be risky!).

FloraDance Tue 17-Sep-13 10:50:36

We got rid of the telly when DD1 was about 2.5 and it has worked really well, much more independent play and an hour extra sleep. Re the toys, buy 6 or so plastic boxes with lids, divide up toys and only open one at a time. If you have the storage, hide the other boxes away.

Beechview Tue 17-Sep-13 11:01:38

I did this (tv ban) when my boys were younger as I got fed up of the behaviour surrounding it (fighting, desperate requests for whatever crap was being advertised, crazed panic when I said it was time to switch off)

We have no tv all week now and they are totally used to it.

I would definitely recommend it.

PeterParkerSays Tue 17-Sep-13 11:05:08

DS is allowed 2 programmes (recorded from cbeebies) when he wakes up, and three more in the evening. Before he started school, and was home in the day, he also had 3 programmes (fireman sam, postman pat etc) after lunch to give DH a chance to wash up / prepare tea. Other than that, the TV is off. sometimes I get a big toy out the night before, train set, duplo, car mat etc so he has something to just start playing with when the TV goes off.

We go camping on holiday and apart from the moment he realised that tents don't have tellies grin, before he went, he's never missed it when he's been away. I guess it's out of sight, out of mind. A friend has a smaller TV and keeps it in a cupboard during the day - could you do that so it's not readily to hand?

Other children's toys are always more exciting than your own, though, so there's no solution to that one.

Mumsyblouse Tue 17-Sep-13 11:09:52

I don't really get the issue about not having a telly, because it's all about screen time, you don't need terrestrial TV, many people use DVDs and their children all use internet, consoles and so on. Very very few children (older than 5) have no access to screens at all.

My parents didn't let us watch TV as a child and I watch it all the time as an adult, it's not very nice being excluded from this everyday aspect of other people's lives once you are at primary school. I now have it on constantly and watch utter rubbish, I find it relaxing.

LadyInDisguise Tue 17-Sep-13 11:14:58

Yes you can get rid of all he flashy toys and reduce, if not eliminate the telly.
At that age, you will have some grumbles to start with but it will quickly become a new habit.
You could make the best of a weekend or a week away with no telly and then not put it back on when you are back.

In my experience, you have children who become very very keen on electronic stuff ( dc1) and others who don't really care (dc2). With the first type, you do need to be particularly vigilant as they soon aren't able to do anything else that isn't electronic related sad

MaddAddam Tue 17-Sep-13 11:20:53

I've always been quite strict on screen time, aiming for an hr a day, and when they did whine or complain about it going off, we'd remove the tv for a week. I still do this sometimes and they're 13 and 12 and 9 now, I remove laptops too if they use them too much. Or if they don't do their homework or tidy their rooms. Not sure how much longer I'll get away with the parental control here, but certainly at 3 I'd say get used to being bossy on this one as it'll only get worse...

And yes I'd ditch the annoying flashing toys and give them more of the more imaginative and creative options.

LadyInDisguise Tue 17-Sep-13 11:23:31

mumsy I think are different now than when wee were children. There are so many channels that you are not expected to have watched such and such program.

We don't have a tv at all at home but the dcs do watch stuff on the iplayer etc. they know about some program's, what they are etc but have never watched them or asked to watch them.

The main difference though us that neither myself or my DH watch tv or the iplayer so it's not as if we were purposely excluding them iyswim.
When they will ask to watch the Xfactor etc.. Then we will consider it and probably will leave them the choice to do so within their allowed time.

Sockywockydoodah Tue 17-Sep-13 11:26:51

Yes Lady, I agree - DS1 is definitely in the first group as are DH and I

ziggiestardust Tue 17-Sep-13 11:46:31

I find a nice alternative (to TV and flashy light things) are trains, role play stuff (think kitchen & play food, shop etc), toy garage, playmobil, playdoh and sticker books.

My DS is 2.11 and will amuse himself for a good 45 minutes in his chair with playdoh if I need to get things done. If I'm cooking, I sit him up on the side next to me and chat to him about what I'm doing and let him hold stuff/add ingredients etc. Yes it does take longer but I like to think that I'm teaching him something too.

I don't let him play with my iPhone or iPad because they are my things, designed for adults not children. He has loads of his own things and some things just need to be for mum and dad.

We watch certain programmes like Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank at DS's request, but we don't watch randomly for hours.

I think it's all about having a variety of things in your arsenal to entertain your child.

Lottapianos Tue 17-Sep-13 12:25:40

'I don't let him play with my iPhone or iPad because they are my things, designed for adults not children'

Oh ziggie, I feel exactly the same! <feels like she's found a long-lost friend>

I remember when I was a kid that there were some things you just didn't touch because they were for adults - no discussion, end of. They were just off limits and I remember accepting that and being fine with it. Children shouldn't automatically be given access to virtually everything that adults use - it's up to the adult to make a decision about whether it's suitable for the child or not. I think some parents feel cruel if they are not giving, giving, giving to their child constantly, whereas actually, it's a huge part of an adult's role to help a child to learn boundaries and how to wait and not be the centre of the universe at all times.

No doubt someone will be along to call us both smug cows before long, but I for one agree with you completely smile

And yes, you are most certainly teaching your DStons of important skills when you involve him in your everyday tasks

stopgap Tue 17-Sep-13 12:53:51

We don't have a TV at home, but I have just started letting my 2.2 year-old have screen time and he watches Thomas or Trumpton for twenty minutes twice a week on my laptop. He's good about it thus far--interested, but not obsessively so--but if it changes, I'll take it away, end of.

He loves be outdoors and running around, so it's not too hard right now.

wiganwagonwheelworks Tue 17-Sep-13 13:00:49

the flashing singing toys did not interest DD very much anyway. I got rid of most of them one by one and replaced them with Duplo and some second hand my little ponies and a teaset. And she does not watch TV because I don't turn it on during the day. We listen to music instead.

eddiemairswife Tue 17-Sep-13 13:01:07

When my children were small there was only Playschool in the morning, Watch with Mother after lunch and Children's TV after tea. With my grandchildren I hadn't got digital TV, so it wasn't non-stop CBeebies. But they loved helping to make fairy cakes especially the icing and decorating (and eating). I also was the one who provided paint, glitter, glue, glitter glue, paper, tissue paper, card etc.

DanglingChillis Tue 17-Sep-13 13:02:44

TV is easy to restrict if you are consistent. My DCs are allowed an hour a day. They are still little (5 and 4) so when cbeebies is put on they are told what the last programme is and we have no problem with them sticking to the rule.

With toys I had a big clear out of all the noisy electronic toys, Our baby has never seen one! They aren't essential. We have a clear out of toys every year after Christmas when the new toys are put in the toy cupboard. Too many toys don't get played with, TBH I think some things are more for me and DH than the kids. Last year, any new toys that weren't played with by the end of the holidays were hidden in the study and something new gets taken out every now and then. Anything that hasn't been played with by December might well be regifted idly wonders if I could get away with regifting back to the kids

TheSmallClanger Tue 17-Sep-13 13:06:57

Don't be afraid to use white lies in the early days of limiting screen time. If pretending the TV is broken or won't receive a particular channel works, do it until they get used to it.

Beastofburden Tue 17-Sep-13 13:17:22

Mine believed for years that if there was only one TV aerial on the house, that meant you could only have one TV in the house, so no TVs possible in bedrooms, sorry...

We didnt have as much telly available when mine were tiny, no freeview, just five channels, no cbeebies or anything. I do cringe when I see how shouty and in your face some children's TV has become. Everyone on it seems to be hyper.

So yes, "break" the TV for a week, and wean her onto nice DVDs now and again. She can watch proper telly when she's bigger.

I would rotate your toys but also, when she's in bed, spend five minutes actually planning tomorrow's play. So, for instance, tomorrow we will make a village out of cardboard boxes on the floor and inhabit it with cuddlies. Or, tomorrow is a Duplo day. Set it up ready, have everything else put out of sight, and be prepared to play with her doing that actual game.

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