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Really struggling to limit DS's tv watching please help!

(15 Posts)
newpositiveme Tue 09-Nov-10 11:34:36

Ds is just 4, he has a three month old brother. prior to going on mat leave he attended nursery for three full days a week and mostly really enjoyed all the different stimulation/activities etc and social side of it.

Since mat leave we can only afford to keep him in one day per week (plus I had wanted to spend more time with him). I have found a lovely preschool though and he attends for 11 hours over three days and he is loving this too.

Problem is, when he is at home ALL he wants to do is watch Cbeebies, given a chance he would sit glued to it all day. Obviously having just had a new baby my time and energy has been limited, although I have tried to keep offering him alternative activities, craft, helping with cooking, reading books etc and he has loads of toys!
He just isnt interested though and when i turn the tv off he just moans and whinges until I can feel my head explode!! Tv then goes on as I fdeel that is better than losing my temper.

Any views or strategies on this would be very much appreciated! Am really worried about the effect all this tv is having on DS sad

HowsTheSerenity Tue 09-Nov-10 11:41:28

He is 4 and not the boss.
Tell him it is broken. Take away the cables so if he goes to turn it on he can't.
He will whinge and moan but you just need to walk away. He will eventually get bored and go and entertain himself.

TanteRoseAliveAndKicking Tue 09-Nov-10 11:44:59

if you have a 3 month old, then the TV is your lifesaver!

I really wouldn't worry too much - my two had phases of being glued for hours quite a long time, and then they got bored of TV and the set in the corner would quite literally not be switched on for days/weeks...

I had two DCs, 17 months apart, and I am not ashamed to say that the TV was my babysitter for quite a few months after DS was born.

You do what you gotta do - do not let your head explode!


highlighterpen Tue 09-Nov-10 11:45:05

It's really hard, isn't it?

Have you considered getting rid of the TV altogether for a while, at least? I know it might be hard at first but once he realises you are serious, that the TV is gone but here are lots of lovely things to do (sounds like you have lots of ideas), a new pattern of interests and activities will emerge and DS will be able to occupy himself more.

Also a good time for it as you could make sure some of his Christmas gifts are good 'imaginative play' things to keep him occupied (eg castles, lego, pirate ships).

It may seem like a radical thing to do, but it just at a stroke removes all the battles. It's not there. What else shall we do? The kids I know who are best at occupying themselves are those without a TV at home.

SkyBluePearl Tue 09-Nov-10 12:05:58

use the telly only as a reward maybe. For example, tellhimhe can a hours telly at 1pm or 4 pm (what ever suits you) BUT only if he plays nicely and doesn't whinge b4 hand. If he winges stay strong and give no telly. Hewill soon understand after allhe is 4.

thisisyesterday Tue 09-Nov-10 12:09:54

let him moan and whinge!

i found with mine that they would be awful for like, an hour or so, and then it would just stop. they'd realise it wasn't working and then go and find something else to do

we don't have any broadcast tv any more, but when we did i used to put BBC2 on in the mornings rather than the cbeebies channel. that way when it ended it ended and i could say it's over and turn it off

Ragwort Tue 09-Nov-10 12:12:17

It's hard isn't it? My 9 year old DS is 'addicted' to the TV which I hate as neither DH or I watch much TV (ie: it is never just 'on' for the sake of it). I often hide the remote and try very hard to limit it to max. 2 hours a day (includes computer/playstation time) - he does loads of sport and after school activities but when he is at home it is so hard to motivate him to do anything. Last night we tried to play board games but he was stroppy and unco-operative - in the end we said he could play board games, do homework or go to bed - so he made his own choice to go to bed at 7pm grin - DH and I ended up playing monopoly together ! Good luck whatever you do.

13lucky Tue 09-Nov-10 13:36:28

Don't beat yourself up about have a 3 month old and a 4 year old. That is difficult in itself. While I understand you want to limit the TV, which I think is a good thing, the fact that you are worrying about it at all shows you are a good and responsible mum. Personally I would not worry about it for the moment - try to limit it if you can - but you don't want your 4 year old to think that having a new baby is all doom and's a lot for them to take in and probably they've already got their nose put out of joint a little by the new baby's arrival so I would be careful with taking away things they are used to. In a couple of months when things calm down a little, perhaps it will be easier. And maybe cut the viewing time down little by little each day so that it's not an all or nothing. Good luck.

booyhoo Tue 09-Nov-10 13:38:18

he is four. you turn the tv off and he whinges, then he gets bored when you ignore himand he goes and plays. that is how it works. you parent, him child.

Eliza70 Tue 09-Nov-10 16:16:23

When my baby was born my DS (2.9) watched a LOT of tv for a while. It was until I got us into a routine of doing other things. Now we go to two mums and tots groups and then go to the shops, go see my mum or do something else. It is on sometimes but I have limited it. I know the whine can send you to breaking point but distraction can work.

FernieB Tue 09-Nov-10 18:09:40

Agree with the others - you're the boss, not him. Turn it off and let him find something else to do. He will if you ignore his whinging long enough. If the whining is getting to you, go and hoover, the noise of that will drown some of it out.

CommanderDrool Tue 09-Nov-10 18:14:13

Bung the baby in the pram and take him out to the park, come home and tell him he is allowed to watch two programmer then it is OFF.

Alternatively give in (which is what I did when I had DD3)

alarkaspree Tue 09-Nov-10 18:19:25

Agree with trying to get outside more.

At the moment watching TV is a habit for him and it's easy when you and he can't be bothered to think of something else to do. If you restrict it, it will be hard for a few days and then he will get used to it and play by himself.

I'd tell him upfront that you are going to have only x amount of TV a day at y time (whenever his favourite thing is on, or when you are likely to be especially preoccupied with the baby), and that that is the rule and you will not change your mind.

CommanderDrool Tue 09-Nov-10 19:21:45

I think children like to know exactly what they are getting in advance. Do - you can watch Chuggington and Mister Maker and then it goes off, is easily understandable.

Provide him with pens, pencils crayons, paper, playdoh and scissors and glue ( if feeling brave) and let him get on with it. Bribe him to start drawing if necessary.

Remember this time will bone yo an end but the important thing is the baby gets fed and you get through the day without falling asleep.

CommanderDrool Tue 09-Nov-10 19:30:07

Sorry iPhone spellcheck always makes 'me seem lime a nutter. You got 'the gist anyway grin

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