I have a daughter who is a first grader, smart and intelligent, she has now taken to the idiot box.....I just dont know how to wean her away from it...she just gets hysterical crying if I deprive her of it........
There are no kids living nearby and im finding it extremely difficult to keep her away from the trash she watches on the TV.Her three year old sister is soon following her behaviour.....Please help
I know how that feels. And it is easier said than done. Maybe, making them watch DVDs over which you have control is much better. Or getting some new play stuff and doing some fun activitiy to distract and wean them initially. Not sure how many hours. But what sometimes helps with mine is that I have told them that TV is the idiot box and makes the brain smaller. You decide, you want to be smart or...Many times they insist. A fine balance really. You want to set some limits and be firm and gentle about these. But then you also want to empower them and let them make choices and bear consequences. But more than 1 hour or even 45 minutes of TV at this age might more than optimal (personally to me). Mostly kids do not really watch more than 20 or 30 minutes of TV but there are times when am having a hard day and just put them in front of it before I get to be a "bad" mom...
I would suggest you read this article first - Television and your child
Here are some of my suggestions:
1. Give her a quota and put her in control. Say something like 1 30-minute show in the morning and 2 30-minute shows in the evening. Let her pick.
2. Get some board games, and see if you can get her into more activities like painting, or collages etc.,
3. Get her to help you around the house. Give her some easy tasks to do.
4. Give her some computer time in lieu of TV time. She can make the tradeoff.
Like mango_mama said, get her some DVDs of good children's movies or Discovery and similar stuff.
You can try getting some games with activities like puzzles and clay modelling, this will interest them and could divert from TV. I usally used to tell my daughthter that you may get to wear specs if TV watching is more. So that did help to an extent . You could take them to library and buy "Magic Pot" (provided kid is less than 4-5). these helped my daughter from not glued to TV.
As mentioned in parentree's article about kids and TV. I firmly believed and followed that kids don't need to watch TV until they are 2. I started letting my son watch TV when he was 2 1/2 yrs old. I would <painstakingly> watch each and every DVD before let him watch. I was particular about following thingsin a childlren's DVDs:
1. Duration /Length
3. Content <educational- manner,shapes, sharing, caring, number, aplhabets>
5. Age appropriateness
My son's favorites were:
Bob the builder <Mom's Fav too>
Barney <Mom's Fav too, best to teach manners and respect for others>
Max and Ruby <Mom's fav too, Clarity of speech, esp good for families with 2 or more kids teaches how to respect siblings and their space>
Thomas the tank engine series<Mom didn't like it as there was agression and language wasn't that great either>
Clifford <Mom's favorite, teaches caring and love for animals, to be humble>
2 1/2 yr old kids don't need more than 20 - 30 minutes. At any age they shouldn't be watching a program for more that 45 minutes at a stretch. Remember we as parents need to taste our own medicine and turn off the box when kids are around.
My son is into watching surgery and medical programs on Discovery channel these days and sometimes they these programs run for more than 45 minutes <upto 60 minutes>/day so thats all the quota he has for a weekend, oh one more thing strictly no TV on weekdays, unless its winter holidays, cold season and nothing better to then he gets 2 slots of 45 mintues that too after he does some reading, making craft, building and behaving good.
When he insists I give him following choices:
1. Some TV (45 -60 minutes/weekend day)
2. NO TV
Obviously choice 1 is the better! Its a win win situation.
Remember when you start enforcing time limit your kids might cry and create a scene. DO NOT GIVE IN, you have the remote, you make the rule, be firm and stick to your rule.
Before turning on TV let your kids know that its only for 30 <or what ever is the duration of the program is> minutes and they need to switch off the TV when finished watching DVD <gives them the responsibility to perform a task>,only when they agree to the condition you turn on the TV.
You pay attention to the TV and if they don't turn it off <obviously they won't during first week> you turn it off and have an activity ready for them to work on like painting, play dough, craft. That way they will learn to move on to next activity as TV is notorious for gettting you hooked on to it.
Keep us posted.
I have a slightly different take on this subject. I feel if we get too strict about anything with the kids, they get kinda stubborn in the long run. These very issues later begin manifesting as rebellion during teenage..or worse still once we parents can no longer control the situation, we do kinda stay in the dark about what our kids are upto.
To begin with, let's not treat TV as the villian...the important thing is to go to the root of the issue...we are concerned about the negative influences that TV shall expose them to, we are worried about the eyes and brain fatigue through excessive watching, we are concerned about health related issues from lack of exercise...
In Meg's daughter's case for example, the child doesn't have other children in the neighborhood, the child is probably seeking company and found it in TV....she can't say Mom i feel like having someone to talk to and listen to, she is too young to understand and articulate that. She instead just found a lively talkative companion in TV. Therefore the answer may lie in getting her enrolled in an actiivity that has interaction with other people.
Every generation has problems with the younger generation.....our grand parents had issues with our parents spending too much time in the playground or extra curricular activities at school...our parents had issues with we spending too much time on the phone - remember all the jokes about not getting thru to the phone due to having a teenage daughter at home..., we as parents are at our children's case for Tv and internet!
There really is no one size fits all solution to parenting woes.....many a times understanding the problem better will provide the necessary solution.
No one knows your daughter better than you do Meg, you'll be the best judge as to what works best....i'm sure it must be heart wrenching to see her getting hysterical about switching off TV.....why don't you start by going into the room casually while the TV is on and begin chatting with her....discuss the programme itself....observe her reactions, would she rather talk to you than watch the programme....maybe someday you'll reach a stage where you remind her of her favorite show on TV...
Mango Mama...being able to be bad Mom and the child still turning out just fine is to my mind the best parenting there can be...It really doesn't matter whether we think of ourselves as good Moms or bad Moms....if the children had a happy childhood and turned out to be well meaning, well balanced and capable adults...we've done our jobs well!
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