Watching TV for entertainment and education is not a bad thing.
But if it crosses a limit, it can be very harmful to your toddler. Apart from worsening eyesight, it also negatively impacts brain waves. It dulls and slows the young, developing mind. And too much of anything is bad!
Don’t worry; if you want to know how to stop a toddler from watching too much TV, keep reading this article.
5 Tips To Stop Your Toddler From Watching Too Much TV
1. Don’t Let it Become a Morning Habit.
If your toddler watches TV first thing in the morning, it is something you should look to address. Morning activities set the tone for the rest of the day. How you start your morning will always impact how your day goes.
But if it’s already become a habit, you have to try breaking it. For example, your toddler might watch TV while having breakfast. Without it, they might not want to eat at all.
This can be a difficult situation to deal with. It might make them angry and frustrated if you try to force them, which will negatively impact their mood and is also bad for their emotional growth.
So how can you deal with this? Here are a few things you can do-
- Let Them Know the Night Before: Don’t start scolding them in the morning. Tell them the night before that there need to be minor changes in their routine.
Communicate your reasons to them. If they understand, that’s half the problem solved. If they don’t, you have some more tricks up your sleeve. But having them prepared for what’s to come is essential!
- Keep Them Occupied With Something Else: You can always replace a bad habit with a good one. For example, you can take your toddler out for a walk to the park or to the rooftop every morning. You can buy a tricycle to teach them how to bike.
These kinds of new physical activities always excite a little child. They might be a bit reluctant at first. So you will have to convince them affectionately. After a few days, they will themselves want to do it!
- Cook Food They Will Gobble Up: So you are worried your toddler won’t eat breakfast without watching TV. In that case, make the kind of food they won’t be able to resist. Your toddler must have some favorites already.
If those favorites aren’t healthy, do some experimentation with the ingredients of the foods. Having them try out new foods all the time will get them more excited, and they will become more interested in focusing on the food rather than something else.
2. Give Them Something to Play With
Playing with toys, especially educational toys, is much better than watching TV. If they have a favorite toy that can hold their attention for a long time, tell them to play with it during the times they usually watch TV.
Or you can buy a book with many fun little games to keep your toddler occupied. Play with them as much as you can. It’s easy to distract a toddler.
They might be reluctant at first to do anything but watch TV. Raise their curiosity by giving tiny trailers about what activity they will do. Make them interested. Show them how there are way more fun things to do out there!
3. Set a Timer
If nothing can convince your child not to watch TV, the most you can do is limit the time they watch it. They have a favorite show that plays at a specific time. So let them watch it. Give them the condition to turn it after the episode ends.
Or it could be that your child watches YouTube on the TV. In YouTube, the autoplay option keeps playing videos one after the other. Turn that off. Tell your toddler that they can watch only for half an hour or only two videos.
But what if they don’t follow the time limit? Tempt them with another fun activity that they enjoy.
4. Tell Them Someone Else Wants Them to Turn Off the TV
This is a trick that will work only with toddlers! Your toddler must have a role model. A superhero they like, or an uncle who they admire. Maybe even a toy plushie named Tony that they clutch to bed.
If you tell them their favorite person would want them to do this, the effect might be different. If your child dreams of being a superhero, you can say things like, “Superheroes don’t waste time watching TV!” They’re more likely to listen and obey this way immediately.
5. Never Disregard Their Feelings
This is the most crucial point of this article. Your child may throw tantrums, and they may cry and be sad that you’re not letting them do what they love so much. What should you do in such a case?
Sympathize with them. Tell them you understand that they are sad. Don’t make them feel like they’re not allowed to feel angry or disheartened.
That is one of the worst mistakes any parent can ever make. So instead, tell your child why it’s important for them to do this. Respect your child’s feelings from a young age, and they will also learn to respect yours.
And that’s it for this article. You can try the above methods to help your child with their TV addiction.
Once not watching TV becomes a habit and they find better things to do, you can finally be at peace. And, after following all these methods, hopefully, you can stop your little one from watching too much TV.