Three rules for toddlers and the TV

Toddlers testing TV time limits — when to draw the line. Bangor Daily News, October 30, 2013.

An interesting article presented in a question and answer format. A parent is distressed about the temper tantrums of the 3 and 1/2 year old when the TV is turned off and asks what can be done. The problem is that the child is told that it’s time to have the set turned off but goes ballistic when deprived of the tube. A common problem in the US and around the world.

The expert who answering the question suggests firm if respectful limits. A good enough answer as far as it goes: Set a limit, use a timer and respect the limit set by the timer.

But the problem is a bit larger: the child is glued to the TV at all. In our day and age, more and more parents feel that they absolutely need to allow their children serious access to the tube at a very early age, and the parents use it as a baby-sitter. A variant on this is the idea of TV as reward and removing the TV or other screens as punishment.

There are at least three major rules that should be applied here:

  1. No screens before age 2, if possible. 
  2. No screens in bedrooms for kids. 
  3. Parents must realize that they are role models for kids, even at age 2. So they too should limit their time with screens.