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3 Bumps

Guilty Mom's Confession

I am feeling awfully guilty these days for not getting my 2-1/2 year old out of the house often and allowing her to watch A LOT of TV/movies.

I am a stay-at-home mom of two: my daughter is 2-1/2 yo and my son is 8 months.
This past summer we spent most of our time indoors due to an out-of-state move. I often had on the TV to keep her distracted as I packed, and once we moved in, stuck her in front of the TV so I could unpack.

Once we settled in during the fall, I attempted to take some walks with the kids (baby in a stroller, my daughter walking) but EVERY TIME it was time to return to the house she would have a MELTDOWN. I'd eventually have to drag her by one arm while pushing the stroller with the other to get her home and inside. (We live on a very steep hill & I was always worried that in trying to control her meltdown, the stroller would slip from my grip) It was very difficult and discouraged me from taking her outside often.

Now that the weather is freezing here, it's too cold to do anything outside. She always wants to watch movies, & I let her (Nickelodeon dvds, Pixar movies & such).
The TV use is definitely excessive-- I have it on all day just to keep her entertained. My husband works over 60 miles away and isn't home (and awake!) often. So now I have two kids, two cats and a big house to take care of myself and not nearly enough time in the day. I have tried to "wean" her from the television, but on days that I limit TV time I find I just don't get anything done.

I'd love to take her out shopping with me at night (I have no car during the day), just so she can get some fresh air and get away from the house (& TV!) for a bit but the same thing happens every time-- If she see something she wants (and she ALWAYS does) and can't have it, it's the tantrum of the century. I never know when something will set off a tantrum and it's not only embarrassing, but discouraging.
So most of our days are spent indoors and in front of the TV and I feel horrible about it.

I'd love to know how others entertain their toddlers (with the TV off).

We do love to play Play-Do together, and build blocks and play pretend tea, but there's only so long I can play before my son needs something, or I have housework to get done.
She'll only play on her own for a limited time before she wants the TV on, and being that I have so much to do, I almost always say yes.

Can anyone offer advice!?
I feel like such a crappy mom, is anyone else experiencing something similar (with the TV usage or tantrums outside the house)?

If not the TV, how can I keep my toddler preoccupied while I do other things?

Thanks for reading.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:34 PM on Jan. 31, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (8)
  • Wow sounds like your definatly into the terrible twos. If you want to wean off tv I would start by only allowing on at certin times of the day (say from 11am to 3pm or soemthing) then hide the remote (or unplug the tv if nessisary).
    Playdough is good (or modeling clay I think is better- comes in all sorts of fun colors). Try building with legos or blocks (my daughter loves to have me build and then she knocks them down- or knocks them down while I build lol). You can turn on the radio and have a dance party or dance hour. Make up goofy and funny dances. Read a book (my children LOVE books). Color or draw. You can get creative and make things out of construction paper (crafting is great if you have the time). When the tv is on you can get sing alongs and active videos where she is excersizing while watching. Good luck!

    Answer by MamaWolf1981 at 5:40 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • LOTS of different activities is what worked for me.  This isn't a "cure" my kids still watch too much television.  Being outside is new to them, of course they don't want to go back in.  Take longer walks.  Go to the park.  Do things like that a lot and she might cut down on the tantrums.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  There is NO "right" way to parent.  Just what you choose to do and what you don't.  You identified an area that you think you need some work on which is more than most ever do.


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 5:41 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • First off, I don't think you should be so hard on yourself!!! And quite honestly, my son watches too much tv... But I keep it to mainly educational films. We also went and got him a few educational tv games which was an awesome time saver for me. It's nice that he loves playing his games, and he's learning while I take care of the house or the baby (mine is now 13 months)... As for outside, I would tell you shortly before you go in that she has 10 minutes to play before it's time to go inside... Then if she has a meltdown I wouldn't let her watch tv or whatever punishment you see fit. Be consistent Mom, and she'll learn... Good luck!

    Answer by momma_marian at 5:43 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • Kids love to see new things. Take a bus or train ride around your town. Go to a museum. Bring a sack lunch to a mall and have a picnic. google your town or county and free kids, and see what comes up!

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:51 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • i feel for oyu i have kids the same age (2 and 8 months). sometimes i put her in a high chair with me while i work and let her color in a book or (if you can afford it) i bought the "you're baby can read" dvd set and it's worked wonders. she likes to watch it and it's working. it might make you feel a little less guilty about it (i know exactly what you mean. we moved not too long ago too and before that we lived in a 2 story apartment and i barely ever made it outside. no elevator and always needing a stroller and having sciatica made it almost impossible to do anything)

    Answer by Mrs.L.Mita at 9:09 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • games and toys

    Answer by LiLJeni at 2:09 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Maybe try to pick a time when she can 'help' you with chores. My son will 'help' by taking dishes out of the washer and handing them to me. I have gotten him to 'help' with laundry by having him put socks in the dryer that I dropped or by pushing the buttons when it's time. He'll also take all the clothes out of the basket and put them back in, which is at least keeping him out of my folded piles;-) Maybe she can help with her baby brother by holding the wipes or picking out socks for him.

    She might do better if she is more involved with what you're doing.

    Ok, doesn't work all the time and the chores take significantly longer, but it is productive together time.

    Good luck!

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 1:06 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Thank you guys so much!
    It's comforting to know I am not alone here and the advice you guys offered is great.
    I am going to be sure to try all the things suggested here, and thank you to those that said I was being too hard on myself. Maybe I do need to lighten up a bit and just have fun with my beautiful babies instead of worrying all the time how I may be screwing them up! lol


    Thanks for your support.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:57 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

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