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I need help limiting my daughter's TV time!

She's 2 1/2. I've gotten into a very bad habit of letting her watch too much TV. I'm ashamed to admit it, but she watches up to 3 1/2 hours of TV a day, more if we also watch a movie with her in the evening.

I swore I would never use the TV as a babysitter, but it seems like that's all I can do to allow me to get things done aroudn the house without her dragging her toys right back out into the living room and making a huge mess.

I already feel terrible, ladies, so please just give advice on how to STOP THIS. She begs and pleads and throws fits if I don't let her watch Dora... to the point that she wakes the baby and causes me double trouble :(

Any tips?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:18 PM on Oct. 5, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I take begging for TV as a sign that we need to go out to the playground or story time or play group. It also means I've been too busy doing other stuff, like crafts or this. I'm trying to play games or play-doh with DS (3yo) more often during the time of day he wants to watch TV.

    Answer by silversmom at 12:21 PM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • What's wrong with dragging the toys into the living room?
    Usually the first thing I do in the morning is drag half my daughters toys into the living room. We have kids - toys are supposed to be everywhere.

    Unplug the TV. Let her have the tantrum and wake the baby (that's your punishment for letting it get out of hand lol)
    The tantrums are only going to last a few days - at the most - she knows she has that control.
    Find other things for her to do. Crayons, puzzles, blocks.
    Play and walk away. You start to play with her so she gets the idea, then you walk away and start picking up the kitchen, coming back to the table now and again to praise the wonderful job she's doing.

    And last DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!! I don't care who says "I never let my kids watch TV" unless they are some fanatic freak, they let their kids watch TV and probably too much!"

    Answer by at 12:26 PM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • Try setting a timer and when it goes off she's done. Or giving her warnings like, "when Dora's over we are turnung the tv off."

    Answer by skittles1108 at 12:21 PM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • Give her something to do while you're cleaning. Crayons/paper/glue stick - or sorting items and a muffin tin

    And get used to the fact that you will NOT have a "neat' house for quite a few years if a child lives there. Make ONE room the place for the mess and just deal with it.

    Distraction with something else to do is always a good method. But at 2.5yrs, she can't come up with it on her own - so YOU do it.
    You can also make a surprise box with "stuff" in it that she can pull out.

    Answer by auroragold at 12:43 PM on Oct. 5, 2010

  • I have a 2 1/2 year old also.. so I know it is VERY difficult getting things done around the house.. but I use them as ways to entertain her if she doesnt want to stay in her room to play ( the kitchen, living room, etc are within ears reach and I also take breaks to go check on her) I let her watch a movie every once in a while.. but with the chores.. she likes to help.. or watch.. while i am doing dishes I let her sit on her stool and see the BUBBLES lol and folding clothes I give her a basket of her own and let her "fold" those clothes when she is done i take the clothes and put them in my basket and give her some that havent been folded yet.. it takes a little longer but they get done and she gets to help. without making huge mess with toys, etc. and without being stuck in front of the tv. :)

    Answer by Ross2010 at 1:14 PM on Oct. 5, 2010