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Giving up/cutting down screen time support thread?

9 replies to this topic

#1 Lou-bags

Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:42 AM

Who's with me?

My DS1 (3.5yo) watches WAY too much TV and YouTube toy videos. It started in moderation as a way for DH and I to cope with his early waking (which comes and goes) and to give me a break when I was pregnant with DS2 and exhausted and in pain etc.

But it's got out of hand, and now DS2 (8 months) is starting to get drawn to the screen too so we need it to be off.

But... he's a threenager and I'm stuck as to how to begin. I feel it's become a parenting crutch and I'm as dependent as he is. I know his behaviour will likely improve when we cut down the screens, but I'll have to break the habit first 😱

So I'm posting here for ideas, support and accountability.

Anyone care to join my quest?

#2 seayork2002

Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:46 AM

We are going through this with our son but he is nearly 10 but just say 'at the end of the this show/you tube video the screen is going off'

but once of it takes 2 seconds to hear 'I'm bored I have nothing to do' which is the reason we are limiting it.

#3 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:03 AM

My 5 yr old is only allowed 30 mins of ipad time a day. Either use an egg timer or the phone and when the bell goes she has 5 mins to shut down. If she doesn't, then she doesn't get any ipad time the next day.

We had a few tantrums and hiccups at first but she has learnt that its better to stick to the rules.

TV is not such a big issue with us as she will hardly ever stare at it, just on in the background.

I think you will need to gradually decrease the time that your ds is on it every day and work it down to a manageable level.

#4 Babetty

Posted 22 May 2017 - 11:29 AM

I'm no Saint in this area but can you use a bit of delay / distraction too? Eg if your son asks to go on the iPad, say please do XYZ first? I have a list of things my kids need to do before any screens can be used in the mornings.

#5 Riotproof

Posted 22 May 2017 - 12:47 PM

I have found that having set times for tv/screen time helps. Ds at that age was crazy with tv and I really felt it affected his behaviour. So, I made a rule there was no tv in the morning, but that he could watch in the afternoon while I was making dinner or whatnot.
Often he would be so engrossed in what he was doing, it simply wouldn't occur to him to ask, but when he did I set it up as "after xyz finishes, the tv goes off."  Netflix is going to make this a nightmare, you'll really have to listen for theme songs.

It also doesn't help that dh likes the tv on constantly.

Edited by Riotproof, 22 May 2017 - 12:48 PM.

#6 Ianthe

Posted 22 May 2017 - 05:51 PM

View PostRosiebird, on 22 May 2017 - 05:32 PM, said:

I wouldn't start by making a big deal of putting rules around TV or telling him there's no more TV. I would do the opposite - try to create a rich, interesting, fun life outside the TV room that draws him away from it.

That sounds exhausting :lol:

Things have gone rapidly downhill here OP. I am just waiting until study semester finishes and I'm cracking down.

#7 Riotproof

Posted 22 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

View PostIanthe, on 22 May 2017 - 05:51 PM, said:

That sounds exhausting :lol:

Things have gone rapidly downhill here OP. I am just waiting until study semester finishes and I'm cracking down.

It's true you have to offer alternative. You can't just say no tv. I'm not sure I'd do it as childled as Rosiebird though. It would be more a case of "look, there are the puzzles, the blocks, the Water table.. ect.

#8 mandala

Posted 22 May 2017 - 06:42 PM

We did basically what Rosiebird suggests. I find that delaying putting the tv on, even for a few minutes, gives them enough time to get engaged in another activity and then they often forget. We tend not to have strict times around tv, but will plan ahead for when it works for us e.g. if I know I have an important call to make, I'll save tv for then.

We also have the tv on an energy-saving timer. It makes putting the tv on a bit of a hassle, and it turns off automatically after an hour unless I explicitly choose to keep it on. The kids have to ask to turn it on (it's fiddly to turn on by themselves, and even though DS1 could certainly do it himself now he's now in the habit of always asking) and it's enough to discourage all of us from using it.

#9 Lou-bags

Posted 22 May 2017 - 09:56 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 22 May 2017 - 12:47 PM, said:

It also doesn't help that dh likes the tv on constantly.

This is my DH too! In a way it would be nice if cutting down for the boys broke his TV habit too!

It's his whole family, actually. They're addicts. And I find I get drawn in too, screens are so alluring.

We're bunch of screen-o-philes up in here.

Thanks for your answers.

And for that idea for the approach, Rosiebird. That makes sense. I know you're a RIE fan and I had planned to have a look over at what Janet Lansbury had to say on the matter but sometimes I find her posts to be too light on practical suggestions for implementation.

We actually did well today, I just need to work on staying calm through the nagging. Whinging and nagging just drive me insane at the moment, and I admit I was way too snippy with him.

#10 Franny and Zooey

Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:21 PM

Do it now before they are teenagers.  Because then the  horse has bolted and you have no hope.

Just pull the "this is how it is because I say so" line  - which is also harder to use with teenagers.

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