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Anyone with small DC successfully cut out TV? How?!

(49 Posts)
marzipananimal Wed 30-Oct-13 10:32:57

I really think TV isn't doing my 3 year old any good, but I have a baby too, am knackered, and often need to leave the toddler alone for a while to sort out the baby. It must be possible to live without TV right? How have you managed to cut it out?

BerstieSpotts Wed 30-Oct-13 10:40:05

Why on earth would you want to do this when you have a small baby?! Are you mad woman! Give yourself a break smile The worthiness and TV ban experiments can come later, I promise. <Leads to a darkened room. With gin.>

Alexandrite Wed 30-Oct-13 11:04:18

Ditto what Berstie said. grin

LittleRobots Wed 30-Oct-13 11:05:51

Ditto again. My older one learnt her numbers with numtums and how to count down from 10 while I fed baby.

marzipananimal Wed 30-Oct-13 11:08:41

smile I thought someone would say that! It's just that I can see his concentration span dwindling, he's not interested in books or jigsaw any more, and his behaviour definitely gets worse when he watches lots of TV.
And I'll probably be knackered for at least the next year with the baby, so it's not like it's a short term thing.
Oh well, perhaps it is impossible!

NotCitrus Wed 30-Oct-13 11:15:22

Maybe encourage some tv watching with you while you feed baby etc, and get him used to talking about the programmes and being a bit less passive at them?

And perhaps a couple special stories he can have only when you're sorting out the baby? But CBeebies is a great last resort (actually second last - last is soft play while I slumped on sofa with baby dd, on days the children's centre didn't have stay and play where I could sleep in the baby area...)

BerstieSpotts Wed 30-Oct-13 11:23:58

I think it's pretty normal for them to have a drop in behaviour and concentration at age 3. Add a new sibling into that and it's totally understandable. DS' TV consumption didn't change or increase and he still had a behaviour lapse at that age. It was temporary....(ish).

Chill smile The first year with two is hard. Do what you must to survive!

If he's starting preschool in January then there's no TV there, that's 3 hours out of his day. If you can avoid putting it on during lunch that's another hour or so taken care of. Turn it off when your partner gets home and can help with either the baby or the toddler.

Also put high value toys in his bedroom or another room where there is no TV. DS' train set was upstairs and he had to go up there to play with it.

Also, something I read on here ages ago, in 15 years' time he will be at uni, getting drunk and reminiscing about Abney and Teal just like we did about Sesame Street. You can't deprive him of that!

SavoyCabbage Wed 30-Oct-13 11:27:08

I've done it a couple of times. Cold turkey. If it's not on the table then there's nothing to negotiate about. Obviously you have to have other things to do. So getting a different box of toys out or activity helps.

I've just found that my dd2 moans and moans for tv and it became more trouble than it was worth. I want her to play, not moan.

claraschu Wed 30-Oct-13 11:43:46

We didn't have a TV when ours were little; in fact we had no screens at all. I really think that for our family, this was one of the best things we did. We had never really had TV before having children either, so this wasn't something we decided to do; it was just continuing with our normal lives.

I feel that it meant we did more with them when they were tiny, but they also learned to amuse themselves; not having the screens eliminated the bargaining and negotiating, which I think turns TV into a desirable treat; our children all figured out other ways to sozzle when they were worn out which didn't make them grumpy (as I think TV often does); they learned to read early; they all play instruments; I could easily go on and on, but I probably am already being annoying.

As they grew up, we acquired computers, and they have watched plenty of TV over the years, but it has never become a habit to have the TV on, more something they do when they want to watch a particular show.

I think that children who don't have constant entertainment available figure out more fun and creative things to do when they are a bit bored. There is so much instant gratification in our culture that some children don't get used to making a sustained effort; screens are a big part of that, IMO.

Also, I am (selfishly) annoyed by the sound of TV, especially children's shows, and wouldn't have wanted it around-

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 30-Oct-13 11:51:10

TV is not the devil.

My 3 all watched the teletubbies, tweenies and Cbeebies.

They are 15,14 and 10.
They all are fine. No adverse effects on their intelligence or behavior.

If TV makes your life with a baby a little easier, then relax.

LonelyGoatherd Wed 30-Oct-13 11:54:41

DD (2.8) has watched SO much telly this year (since pregnancy/arrival of her sibling). Now DC2 is nearly one, I'm planning on only letting them watch it when they should be asleep! So before 7am, they can watch it while I mainline coffee, after lunch DD can watch it while DC2 naps, and then she can watch again while I'm getting the baby ready for bed.
Disclaimer: on bad weather days, this goes out of the window and it's non-stop telly time. I am trying to foster a desire to watch CDWM instead of frickin Grandpa in my Pocket.

KatoPotato Wed 30-Oct-13 11:57:45

I've managed to sell grand designs to DS (3.8) on the promise of diggers and construction sites. He plays lego while we watch it wink

misscph1973 Wed 30-Oct-13 12:04:52

I am reading Sue Palmers 21st century girls at the moment, and I so wish my kids never had watched any TV! Having said that, I am doing quite well on max 30 min per day (DCs are 6 and 8) and only when i cook dinner!

marzipananimal Wed 30-Oct-13 12:16:37

Yes Savoy, DS moans for TV when he's in the habit of having it on lots, whereas when we've had (rare) minimal TV periods he's pretty good at amusing himself.
Good idea to have a special toy/activity that he can only do when I'm off with the baby (she has to be fed in a different room now, otherwise she gets too distracted), I'll have a think.
Thanks Tantrums, good to have the longer term perspective. I'm trying not to worry about it too much!

claraschu Wed 30-Oct-13 12:19:10

I realised that i didn't answer your question when I wrote at 11:43. I was responding to the people telling you TV isn't a problem.

Some things I did instead of Tv: I read aloud an awful lot, for fun, for relaxation, on buses and trains, to distract from a fight or tantrum, etc. Our kids liked story tapes, which I think are great because they leave the visuals to the imagination, and two of our kids loved drawing as they listened to tapes (our 12 year old still does this). I put quite a bit of effort into having a variety of different toys which I would rotate out of sight to keep them interesting. I don't mind chaos and mess, so would let the toddlers loose with cooking, painting, emptying kitchen cupboards, making potions, building dens inside and out, etc, as all of this bothered me much less than the sound of a TV.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 30-Oct-13 12:27:00

Telegraph, watching TV improves academic ability

I think the above link is quite interesting. I don't think TV itself is the problem it's what they're watching that is. My dc are 7 and 10 and apart from Top Gear and train related documentaries for ds they've never watched a programme that wasn't on a children's channel.

pumpkinsweetie Wed 30-Oct-13 12:40:00

I have 4 dc and limiting tv in my house would make my day to day life impossible. I wouldn't get a single thing done if they were unoccupied.
I seriously wouldn't bother, switch the box back on, it isn't going to kill anyone!

MiaowTheCat Wed 30-Oct-13 12:55:17

What I do is to never ever put Cbeebies on as a channel... because then the temptation is there to just bung it on and leave it going in the background all day (and my two are both bloody square eyed given half the chance). I'll record stuff that doesn't drive me insane - and put "a programme" on at various points during the day when I need toddler DD1 to be contained while I deal with her younger sister (it's usually mealtimes when I'm feeding DD2 first and settling her for a nap), but then when a programme is finished and the screen goes back to the blue of the Sky+ box - that's it - TV goes back off and there's not the hour after hour of Beebies and the strop when it goes off.

Leo35 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:17:53

You could limit it at certain times of the day. We have a no TV after dinner (tea) in the evenings. This has been near enough consistently enforced since DS1 was a toddler. Exceptions are/were: the Olympics, and Dave Myers on Strictly (which makes me and DS1 laugh!) and possibly when DS1 has pals over and we get out the Wii. It's rare though and just an accept part of life - the moment. Who know when they will start railing at the total unfairness of it!

ZuleikaD Wed 30-Oct-13 20:58:25

We just don't have TV - for adults or children. It's not an issue because it's simply not there. We do fine without it.

claraschu Wed 30-Oct-13 21:49:43

When I saw your name Zuleika, I knew you would agree with me.

waterrat Thu 31-Oct-13 05:57:57

Those who do toy rotations etc can you give done examples of this? Ie what toys work well for toddlers and how you plan that/ set them out

MinesAPintOfBlood Thu 31-Oct-13 07:16:10

I very rarely watch broadcast TV: we get iplayer through the Wii. That means when the episode is over it stops rather than an excitable 20yo telling the DC what is coming on next.

Artandco Thu 31-Oct-13 07:29:12

We never watch on a general day. Just odd ill days/ wet weather film etc..

I generally set them up with something if I need to do something. So get out the brio train set, help set up and leave them to it whilst I make a phonecall. With cooking/ chores I either do the same or they join me chopping/ watching me cook. I tend to use the kitchen table if they are in arguing mode as can see them then so set up with play dough/ pens/ paper etc and then cook and can talk/ see them at the same time.

We do have a tv in house but not in main living areas. I think this helps as day to day they don't really see it so no temptation to ask. The only tv is in our bedroom within a cabinet.

DziezkoDisco Thu 31-Oct-13 07:47:33

W often cut out any screen stuff as the more they watch the worse they are at entertaining themselves.
Don't make a big thing of it just say the tv is broken. They then will play an play and play far better than when they interrupt it with tv.

If course TV isnt inherently bad but it can mean they find it harder to amuse themselves.

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