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Can't control toddler without tv

(33 Posts)
moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 10:04:17

My 20 month old is super active and a real handful . My previous children were very active too but would play nicely at this age to an extent . He has plenty of toys but shows little interest in them . He absolutely loves me to sit and read him a story and this calms him down but it’s 10 am and we have gone through all the stories x2. I also have heaps of laundry and cooking to do for my other dc so can’t sit and read to Him the whole morning . So far this morning he has - been yanking the blinds like mad almost breaking them , has already yanked the stick
Off them , been banging toys on the wall and dented / scratched it , opened the downstairs loo door and tap and drenched the floor , thrown stuff into the loo, thrown all the shoes off the show rack , scribbled on a door (keep telling dc to make sure pens out of the way but there will always be one ) toppled and dismantled the high chair , thrown all books of the shelves , cried for water then thrown it , cried for a satsuma then squeezed it everywhere and threw it , ( hasn’t had breakfast and won’t eat either ) , climbed onto the dining table and thrown the decorative items off , pulled a charger out of a socket and tore it apart with his teeth ,thrown all the laundry of the drying rack , etc He’s currently scraping the walls again which he loves . Am so drained and he is a really poor sleeper so I have been up every hour too. If I put CBeebies on its like magic , he will sit mesmerised the whole time . I do it and tell myself ten min only but the peace and quiet and lack of destruction is so tempting , 10 min becomes 20 which becomes 40 . It’s not on all day as I know it would probably worsen his restlessness in the long run ( as much as I would love it to be )but I don’t know what else to do and am at my wits end .

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 10:05:53

Also , we usually do the park or toddler group in the morning which is a lifesaver but I can barely prise my eyes open today as have the flu as well as having been up every hour ...

SandSnakeofDorne Thu 09-Nov-17 10:05:54

Don't feel guilty, just have the TV on for a bit. You need a break and it won't kill him.

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 10:06:08

How long is a bit ?

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 10:09:27

With him there’s like a rebound , once I switch it off after twenty min he becomes doubly active and destructive . I used CBeebies with moderation with my two other dc and it was never a problem like this or they would play with it in the background .

mindutopia Thu 09-Nov-17 10:19:31

I think almost less tv is better. I found when mine was younger that watching small amounts of tv actually made it much harder once it was off, like you said.

Can you get him involved in doing things with you? Like if you have loads to get done around the house, bring him with you and have him 'help' At that age, mine could load things into the washing machine or I'd sit her up on a chair at the counter and prep vegetables or whatever for dinner and she would put them in the bowl or pot after I chopped them. It kept her doing something and got done whatever task I needed to do. If you are sick and just need to rest though, a bit of tv won't hurt, but when you feel well enough, I'd go for distracting with tasks, or sit him next to you playing with some playdoh or drawing while you do them.

drspouse Thu 09-Nov-17 10:22:48

If you have flu (especially if it's really flu not just a bad cold) then go to bed and put the TV on!

irvineoneohone Thu 09-Nov-17 10:26:26

My ds was quite ill and admitted to hospital often at that age. So, some times tv was on all day.
It didn't damage him.

Maybe you can relax a bit more about TV and don't limit like 20 mins etc? They will get bored eventually and start doing something else, ime.

Don't feel guilty to let him watch tv/dvd when you are tired/busy and play with him when you can.

My ds was exposed to tv so much when he was younger, but now at 9, he rarely watches tv.

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 10:27:50

Mind - he won’t sit and draw. He’ll be amazed that he has been given a pencil and will insist on drawing on walls and furniture , despite been given paper ! Same with play doh. It’ll be all over the house in no time sad

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 10:33:08

Drspouse it’s probably more of a bad cold than a flu but I could never leave him unsupervised , even with the tv on unfortunately**

irvineoneohone Thu 09-Nov-17 10:44:32

Tbh, my ds did draw on the wall, but I made sure he did on certain wall.
If he likes drawing the on wall, maybe getting the white board(we have huge one)would help?

StormTreader Thu 09-Nov-17 10:44:59

Could you blutack up a big sheet of paper to the wall maybe so that he can draw on the paper?

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 11:28:25

He loves testing boundaries . If he knows something must be done in a certain place he will run off and do it somewhere else . My other dc happen to have a largish whiteboard and a few times we’ve given him a marker , supervised him to let him draw there , he’ll give a cheeky look, hold on tightly to the pens and run somewhere else and scribble really quickly , looking back to see if he’ll get a reaction.

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 11:28:42

He loves testing boundaries . If he knows something must be done in a certain place he will run off and do it somewhere else . My other dc happen to have a largish whiteboard and a few times we’ve given him a marker , supervised him to let him draw there , he’ll give a cheeky look, hold on tightly to the pens and run somewhere else and scribble really quickly , looking back to see if he’ll get a reaction. Once it’s taken off him, he’ll have a mega tantrum .

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 11:29:32

Sorry not sure why that posted twice !
He’s currently running around in the backyard with a tub of soap and water that he has tipped I think he might be picking at the gutter as well

LapinR0se Thu 09-Nov-17 11:31:33


llangennith Thu 09-Nov-17 11:38:55

While you’re feeling crap just do whatever makes life easier for you. If that means lots of TV for DS just go for it.
When you’re feeling better you can start going to the park in the mornings again for him to run off his energy.

moonmaker Thu 09-Nov-17 11:45:43

Lapin- nurseries are around £60 a day . I can’t afford that or even half a day . I’m currently running my own small business from home as much as I can and am looking to go back to full time work in September ‘18

LapinR0se Thu 09-Nov-17 11:52:48

Oh that’s hard. It sounds utterly exhausting. I would definitely not feel guilty about the TV.

Daffodil397 Thu 09-Nov-17 11:56:55

Bless you. When I was bad with pregnancy and toddler DD I’d try and get out energy permitting. If raining with wellies and raincoat. Is there somewhere he can just run/throw ball?
If you’re past that do stick the telly on. Make a cup of tea. As you’ve had disrupted sleep and are not feeling well, Taking it easy today and writing off anything productive might be the best way to recover and feel much better tomorrow xx

Badweekjustgotworse Thu 09-Nov-17 11:58:04

No Guilt tv on, I'm at home with my 3yr old twins I have a. Best infection and spent last night coughing relentlessly so have had no sleep. Tellys been on since 9.30. It'll stay on for another hour till I can gather myself enough to go pick up my prescription from the chemist... guilt free and in survival mode!

SleepingStandingUp Thu 09-Nov-17 12:06:54

What are the consequences for these kind of actions and how much supervision? Mine is 2.5, will tip out anything he can get his hands on, climb up anything he can, . some of those things he can do in a second or two but climbing onto the table and throwing everything off takes longer. Tearing apart a plug with his teeth takes time.

I know its hard, I know you feel like shit and I'm not having a go but if he can't be left, then he needs to be confined to the room you are in. Play pen? High chair? Move your activity to the living room?

And don't feel guilty for the tally. Cbeebies has lots of educational stuff on it and as long as he's getting out a bit and having some mom time it won't damage him. My son spent alto of his first 18 months in hospital - we want had A LOT of telly on. He'll take it or leave it now. Some shows he stands and watches avidly (Numtums, anything with Justin Tumble), other stuff he ignores (Tipsy and Tim)

HalfStar Thu 09-Nov-17 12:17:04

God I wouldn't feel guilty about the tv, leave him watch it a bit longer and he'll get bored when he's had enough. dc1 watched at least an hour at that age, she was a right messer and fiddler and it was great to get a break.

Dc2 is only really starting to get interested now in tv at age 3. BUT she is a weird kid who generally plays pretty well, likes doing puzzles and lego and can basically entertain herself (although she is of course naughty sometimes too, and a wall-scribbler). They are all different and winter is hard. Just do what you have to do to recharge and start again.

Have you got a roll of cheap stickers somewhere as backup. give him a cardboard box and get him to decorate it 'for' someone?

irvineoneohone Thu 09-Nov-17 12:17:24

I can actually give you a best tip ever, let them watch with subtitles on. My ds learned to read before school, from watching tv a lot, without any pushing.
Listening to the sound along with words on the telly everyday, without thinking about it at all since very young, seemed to have done the trick of working out decoding code without being taught. grin

ineedwine99 Thu 09-Nov-17 12:17:38

Hi OP, go for the TV, you need a break if your going to get better, don't feel guilty, lots of educational programs around. I love BBC kids on the ipad as i download zoo lane, tinga tinga tales/ Andy's wild adventures.
I'd make yourself a hot drink and sit and watch TV with him for a bit, down time for both of you.
Hope you feel better soon OP

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