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To ban TV completely?

(59 Posts)
Bustermqc Wed 13-Aug-14 14:17:07

My DS never used to be that fussed by TV but in the last couple of months has become
OBSESSED. I am desperate to have it to give me a bit of a rest but it always always always ends in tears. He has never once happily turned off the TV. It is always an absolute screaming tantrum. At the moment he probably watches about an hour maybe three or four times a week. I was going to let him watch more when on mat leave with next child (maybe an hour a day) but now I think it is toxic because he just can't be measured about it and jut makes things miserable.

I have tried all sorts of tactics, making very clear to him when we will turn off, putting a timer on, all the things I can think of.

So am I better off just saying no TV at all and
Hoping I can cope?

fatpony Wed 13-Aug-14 14:20:48

It does sound rather tiring. How old is he?

Bustermqc Wed 13-Aug-14 14:23:25


googoodolly Wed 13-Aug-14 14:24:07

How about a set amount of TV per day (say, 2x20 minute programmes, or half an hour twice a day) and if he throws a tantrum once his time is up, he loses his TV privileges the next day?

Is there a room that the tv could be shut away in? I managed this stage without too much grief, because the tv was in the front room - and the dses couldn't reach the door handle - and we spent our mornings in the back room, where all their toys lived - it led straight into the kitchen, so it was very convenient for me too. I used to have the radio on during the morning sometimes.

When they went for their naps, I took my lunch and ate it in front of the tv, and when they got up again, they were allowed to watch for a while - but when it came to teatime, their table and chairs were in the back room, so they couldn't eat in front of the tv.

Bustermqc Wed 13-Aug-14 14:32:15

Would he understand about losing TV privileges? That's te one thing I haven't tried because I'm not
Sure he'd understand the concept of consequences the following day but maybe am underestimating? (also do very much have a limit on TV, never watched more than one film or two programmes).

We don't actually have a TV. Just an iPad but with amazon and sky go on it so lots of things to watch. But very easily put in it's case and hidden away. So it's never in sight unless we are actually watching something.

Booboostoo Wed 13-Aug-14 15:00:50

What have you tried to get him to stop watching? With DD negotiation always works. I tell her it's time to stop and she says no yet, so I suggest a deal whereby she can stop nicely in a little while or I take the iPad away now. This has worked really well from an earlier age than your DS and she now uses the concept of a deal to negotiate for herself.

Bustermqc Wed 13-Aug-14 15:06:46

I have tried that tactic quite a few times but he agrees then still loses the plot.

Bellwether Wed 13-Aug-14 15:08:10

We banned TV outright around age 3 for that very reason. He only got a program or two after breakfast, but it sent him mental. So it went off. For a year. Sometimes we'd try out one short program but he'd generally tantrum again and it went right back off. Now he gets a few morning shows and he's fine, but yeah. Switch it off and don't look back. It's ever so peaceful and they make lovely Lego models.

Personally I'd ditch ours entirely. I want a bookcase or a sideboard in that corner, not a black plastic monstrosity. We don't even watch TV so it's totally wasted!

PseudoBadger Wed 13-Aug-14 15:40:29

I use my iphone timer - we have it set to the duck noise. I say 'ok you can watch TV/play iPad etc for 20 minutes - I'm going to set the duck".
When the alarm goes off I take it to him and make him tell me what it means. It's good as it becomes 'the bad guy': "oh I'm sorry DS, I wish we could carry on but the duck has gone off".
He's 3 and a half and we started this a year ago when I was massively pregnant and pulling my hair out trying to leave the park without a tantrum.

Shardlakelover Thu 14-Aug-14 20:00:45

One of my friends has an active DS and she reckons the best thing she ever did was ditch the TV. In hindsight she realised how badly it affected his behaviour - he became very lethargic and grumpy. How about some audio CDs with accompanying books instead?

ForalltheSaints Thu 14-Aug-14 20:13:07

Why not take out the tv from the house completely for a couple of years?

Andrewofgg Thu 14-Aug-14 20:24:08

I grew up in a house without a TV until I was ten and I am convinced that it worked for me. My DSis reached A-Levels without one!

Fairylea Thu 14-Aug-14 20:31:00

Well I'm going to go against the grain and say if he's enjoying it so much why not just let him watch it? As long as he's getting out and about lots and doing other things as well I really think people overreact about how much tv children watch.

My dc have grown up having the tv on whenever we are home. They don't always watch it and often just play with it on in the background. I don't have it overpowering at top volume. Eldest dd is now 11 and in top sets at school - youngest ds is 2.

I grew up having tv on constantly and was accepted into Oxford. I loved watching tv as a child.

evalyn Thu 14-Aug-14 21:56:38

I agree with those who suggest ditching TV, at least for a while.

Your DS won't miss it. Nor you, though it might take you slightly longer than him to get used to it not being there.

Seeing how some children - many children ime - get so hooked on TV is kind of scary, I find. Perhaps it does no harm in the long run. That's as may be. It's lack certainly does no harm to small children's development, however; I'm sure of that. So, if in doubt, get rid.

combust22 Thu 14-Aug-14 22:15:01

How about a carrot rather than a stick?

At that age my kids did watch some TV, but were usually far more intererested in lots of other activies than sit down and watch TV.

Bake bread, home made play dough, "wash up" in a soapy sink with plastic wear. Make slime, paint, glue, dig in the garden, water the plants, play in the sand pit, have a friend over, make paper mache heads, play with a squirty bottle.

Many things are far more interesting than boring old TV. I never limited TV, it becomes self limiting if kids have more interedting things to do.

Bustermqc Thu 14-Aug-14 22:17:17

Have you read the thread fairylea? The point is that he goes ballistic if it ever turns off. Surely you aren't suggesting that we just have te television on forever? I'm not being a pfb I
Must stimulate my child's intelligence by no
Television, it will damage his IQ type parent. I too watched lots of television when young and went to
Oxbridge. To be honest I think on a separate issue it
Is different from when we were kids. Screens were less
All encompassing of our lives and if we watched
Lots of telly it was just videos or the two hours of
Kids telly that they had on after school.

Also everyone, we don't actually have a TV (just an ipad).I'm not
Concerned about myself wanting to watch TV etc in all this. I just hoped to rely on a bit a day when the new baby is

TheIronGnome Thu 14-Aug-14 22:19:49

I've tended to go with the theory that if it causes screaming tantrums etc then we just dont do it.

It doesn't have to be forever- just until he's more mature and can be explained to properly and reasoned with.

He doesn't need it, find other activities for him to do for now and perhaps revisit it again in a few months time.

Bustermqc Thu 14-Aug-14 22:20:37

Also to be really clear if you read my post you'll see that DS currently watches a few hours a week. All other time
Is spent doing activities. It is amazing on here how many disclaimers you have to add in to stop people from assuming you ignore your children and benevolently suggest you start engaging with them and doing something like painting.

ThatBloodyWoman Thu 14-Aug-14 22:22:37

If thats the way you want to go I applaud you.
I couldn't do it because I would miss The Walking Dead....

Fairylea Thu 14-Aug-14 22:28:56

No need to be so defensive...!

I was talking in more general terms about watching a lot of tv being not so awful if there's a lot else going on as well. I wasn't suggesting you personally don't do enough.

I did read the thread before I posted. I wouldn't have posted otherwise. I still stand by what I said.

I actually think the fact you have an I pad and not a tv changes it a little. Sitting in front of an I pad is a lot more isolating than watching a tv programme and playing at the same time for example. So I can see where you're coming from now a little more. I'd get a tv and stop with the I pad and just put the tv on more regularly so it doesn't become the holy grail.

mumminio Thu 14-Aug-14 22:28:57

I've heard from teachers not to let kids watch TV in the morning before school, as it makes them less able to focus and listen.

Our TV is in the master bedroom (DH insisted on keeping it so that he could watch the world cup!). No other TVs in the house. We will reinstate it once our children are old enough...not sure when yet.

mumminio Thu 14-Aug-14 22:30:02

Fairy... her boy is watching too much TV. Leaving it on for longer is probably not the answer. confused

Fairylea Thu 14-Aug-14 22:34:09

But my point is that I don't think there is such a thing as "too much tv". I really don't. You don't agree, many on here don't agree and that's fine. But I think the reason for the tantrums etc is that tv is so limited it's become like the holy grail so make it less appealing by making it mainstream whilst continuing to offer other activities and gradually it loses its power.

None of my dc will ever have a tv in their bedrooms for example but we do have our main tv on all the time from when we get up till when we go to bed. And so do a lot of other families. It's not that uncommon. And I do query the validity of studies saying it's bad to do so.

erin99 Thu 14-Aug-14 22:41:05

Buster I think your OP was pretty clear!

Try it. I don't think you'll need to ban it forever, do it short term and then see if you can introduce a bit. Late in the day might be best, to get you through witching hour and so there is bedtime after so not much to argue/negotiate about. Record one or 2 programmes and watch the same one(s) every day so it's very much a routine and hopefully he will not see it as negotiable.

Does he play games on the ipad? I think that's much more addictive than TV for my DS, and it affects his behaviour more. Don't know if it's the interactiveness or the fact it's a thing that he can hold. Might be worth trying a normal tv instead if you have one, it might have less draw or he might be less possessive about something on the other side of the room. Whatever, IME a total ban can break the cycle but you can try reintroducing pretty soon.

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