The TV is always ON!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2004
The TV is always ON!
Sun, 11-06-2005 - 4:15pm

I have a 6-year-old who would spend the entire day in front of the tv if I would let him. If it's not the tv, it's a video game or computer screen! He has no interest in playing outside, either. Sports just aren't his thing.

Please give me some suggestions on how to keep him from watching TV 24/7!!

Image hosted by


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 11-07-2005 - 9:11am
I'll tell you what I did. I have a 7 year old Stepson who is the same way. When we moved two years ago I didn't get our satellite hooked up. No more TV. Period. Every now and again he can watch a movie (we still have the TV hooked up to a DVD player) but only if he has done what he's supposed to do (room cleaned, teeth brushed, etc.). I know this sounds a little extreme. I was just so sick of him not communicating with us because of the TV. Now we play games together, he helps with dinner, he loves to draw and read now. We actually spend time together as a family instead of him staring at the screen in a trance. It's the best thing I ever did. For all of us. If it were me, I'd just turn off the TV or computer or whatever it is he's watching and give him some rules. Give him a time limit on how long he can watch or play video games per day. You could start it at an hour per day and "ween" him off if cold turkey isn't your style. If there's no TV, video games around he'll find something to do. You might have to come up with things for him to do in the meantime because he probably isn't used to entertaining himself. Just setup some boundaries. He won't like it, but explain why you feel the way you do. The thing I always ask my SS (because he's still infatuated with TV,etc.) is "Would you rather be WATCHING SOMEONE ELSE have fun or would YOU rather be the one having fun? Get out and have fun. Life is too short to watch other people pretending to be something their not. TV is not real life. Go have fun." Trust me. It's not met without resistance but it got easier as time went on. He even said yesterday "I feel like I'm not addicted to TV anymore. I'm getting more addicted to reading." Yay!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Mon, 11-07-2005 - 12:58pm

My motto is 'balance in all things.' My kids both know that they have to ask before the t.v. gets turned on. They aren't allowed to just turn it on whenever they want. So if they ask me to watch t.v., I might ask them how much t.v. they have watched today or yesterday. They think about it and if it hasn't been too much, they will decide they could watch one show. I have told them that t.v. is like sugar - too much isn't good for you, but a little is nice. Both my six year old and my four year old have gotten pretty good at monitoring their intake of both t.v. and sugar themselves. We have also discussed how building things, reading books and playing with their toys make them smarter, but t.v. does not make them any smarter. I like the previous poster's message, of "why watch someone else having fun, when YOU could be having fun?" I will have to save that for my arsenal. :)

Mostly I just try to set a good example. I always have a good book I am reading and I never watch t.v. during the day. I have a couple of shows I watch at night (The Apprentice and ER) but that is it. I don't even watch the news. I read the paper instead. But at the same time, I don't want to make t.v. (or sugar!) some forbidden fruit that becomes all the more attractive for its restrictions. I just want my kids to learn about balance.


P.S. It gets a little harder during the summer, when there is not as much structure to our day. I don't know where you live, but we have "On Demand" in our area. You can pick a 20 minute childrens show for free and then after the show is over, there is nothing to watch. I like this because they can't just sit there and watch three shows before I've realized it. Once their On Demand show is over then they get up to go play. Another benefit is no commercials. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2003
Mon, 11-07-2005 - 11:00pm
Have you tried setting time limits.

Powered by
Avatar for inmommyworld
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-08-2005 - 8:28am

Hello--My ds's, 6 & 7 1/2 would do the same, especially older ds. He has zero interest in toys. This past summer I made a conscious effort to have the tv off most days. This would also include Game Cube, Game Boy & the computer games. I would send them outdoors and older ds would complain that there is nothing to do. I would tell him to sit and stare at the sky--at least he was getting fresh air! Eventually, he would find something creative to do--wash my car, play with the dog, ride his bike.

Even though it made my life a little harder, I had to just turn it off. Cold turkey! Now they aren't as obsessed with tv. I let them watch for about half an hour when they get home from school, then it's off for the rest of the day, and it isn't a fight. You just have to be consistent and make tv NOT a part of the daily routine.

I also did it because of behavioral reasons. I really think Nick & cartoon network influence less than desirable behavior in some kids. I notice that my boys pick up on any obnoxious behavior they see on tv--smart comments, bodily noises, etc!

So, that's my two cents! I could go on and on about this tv thing!!!!!! It really drives me crazy. Good luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-08-2005 - 1:57pm

We also believe in a balance, provided his grades are up to paar....not MY preference, but HIS ability. *wink* Tre can watch one 30 minute show or cartoon during the week, and on the weekends or holidays

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Wed, 11-09-2005 - 1:25am

just remember T.V. is a privilege not a necessity...
water is a necessity... pop is a privilege..

stand firm...I know how hard it is...I had pneumonia, and was so sick, that I couldn't do anything for a month.. my kids sure took advantage of that... it took a while, but we're back on track now.

NO TV before school,
No TV until homework is done.

they can watch 1/2-1hour while I make dinner. But I get final say... ds(7yrs) and dd(5yrs) one of their favorite shows is "how its made"(TLC)
so those kind of shows I give in on... but NO Simpsons.. Jessica or

ds also loves Frontiers of Constuction(TLC?)... one show was on how they moved a lighthouse... sooooo cool..

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2000
Wed, 11-09-2005 - 4:42pm

I agree, turn it off!
I don't really keep track of TV watching..I don't think it was on at all yesterday, but it's on right now...

I also make sure I know what they're watching - primarily PBS, DiscoveryKids, TLC kind of stuff. Thanks to TiVo, doesn't matter what time it's on, I'm still in control. LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2004
Wed, 11-09-2005 - 10:32pm

This is what I did: First of all, the new rule is No Tv on Weekdays. We have a chart on his bedroom door w/ all his "jobs", Cleaning the toilet every other day, cleaning his room, making his bed, doing well at school)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2000
Thu, 11-10-2005 - 8:41am
awesome, let us know how it goes!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2004
Thu, 11-10-2005 - 12:15pm

Cleaning the toilet every other day!? Send him over to my house! I'll let him watch TV as much as he wants if he does that one little chore for me ;)