Telly addict(4 Posts)
Our 5-year old daughter is, and has always been, obsessed with the television. We've always limited the amount she's allowed to watch: usually no more than an hour a day, occasionally two if there's a particular reason. Now I have a horrible feeling that we might have created something of a forbidden fruit situation where she desires something more and more just because it's limited. Mind you, even when she was a baby she'd be utterly entranced by it, whereas her baby sister doesn't seem bothered at all and would rather play.
When she's watching, it's her whole world. She doesn't loose interest and carry on playing or doing other things with the TV in the background as I've seen other children do. She never seems to get bored with it, even on the rare occasions where she's been allowed to watch for several hours due to someone in the family being ill. She won't even communicate when it's on, ignoring people who try to speak to her and becoming very angry when she's told it's time to switch off, even after a five-minute warning. She's normally very good-natured and communicative and the change in her behaviour when the box is on is really marked.
We're really not sure what, if anything, we can do about it. I don't want to stop her watching completely - that seems unfair and hypocritical (adults watch TV after all) - just to develop a more balanced attitude to it as one of many activities she could choose. We're worried that the harder we come down on it, the more she'll see it as something desirable - any tips?
Say no. Stop her watching and don't let her see you watching.
We have exactly the same problem with our daughter (who's 2 1/2) so I am watching this thread with interest. My only comment is that we only let her watch tv during the weeekend (and then on a limited basis, preferably watching something specific, e.g. a movie on dvd that then end) as her reaction is so strong when we switch the tv off after a short period. But, as you, I am not sure whether we are doing the right thing.
You could try making a break for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference. Depends on the child, but you could send it "to be mended" or challenge her to manage without it for a length of time.
I did this with dd1 when she'd got into the habit of asking for sweets every day on the way home from school. I hardly ever bought them, so she moaned every day. I told her we would have a sweet free month, and then she might be allowed sweets next month. She asked the first couple of days, but I reminded her that we weren't having them that month, and didn't ask again. It got her out of the habit, and she's rarely asked since.
We don't have a TV and it hasn't produced a "forbidden fruit" desirability in the children, but it does render other children speechless when they find we don't have one.
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