TV Turns Children Into Monsters

I wrote recently about how I can put LP in front of the TV and she will happily stay there, transfixed by Curious George for half an hour while I sort Little Man out and get him to nap. I am also planning on using the TV as entertainment for LP before her bath while I put LM to bed in the evening when Hubby’s at work.

Occasional TV is great. We love it – it lets me get things done, allows both children to remain happy and LP loves Curious George like nothing else.

BUT.

LP hasn’t been very well for the last few days, so we’ve stayed at home, snuggled on the sofa and watched TV – the best remedy for a poorly 2 year old. The problem has come when we’ve turned the TV off… We’ve been watching the Curious George movie instead of the TV show and so it’s a lot longer than she is used to – but in her poorly state she will still sit happily transfixed by it. I explain in advance – ‘Pickle, we’re going to watch this one movie and then we’re going to play toys, ok?’ and LP will then say ‘Meee Meeee, Moo Mooooo’ meaning Monkey Movie. So I put the movie on.

80 minutes later, as the final credits come on, LP wails ‘Meeeeee, Meeeee. Meeeeeeeee Meeeeeeeeeeee’ because she wants it on again. I explain that no, we’ve watched it, we’re having a break from TV and I then turn the TV off.

Queue toddler meltdown.

LP doesn’t tantrum. She is an amazingly laid back and calm child.

Until you turn Curious George off.

LP will throw herself on the floor, kick her legs up and down, throw her arms around and smack her head against the floor. This is repeated, with added screaming and crying. We then do everything we can to distract her and make her forget about the TV. This usually ends up involving food – anything to get her to calm down.

Do all toddlers get like this when they watch too much TV? LP literally turns into a ball of rage, a teenie redheaded monster!

TV turns a happy, lovely toddler into a Jekyll & Hyde – a completely different personality comes out. This makes me regret ever putting the TV on in the first place, knowing that I have to limit it to a 20 minute slot next time – before lunch or dinner so I have a ‘reason’ to turn it off.

Please tell me that your children turn into monsters when the TV gets turned off too? It can’t just be LP.

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6 Comments

  1. Kate Towse
    September 25, 2013 / 7:16 am

    It is the case in this house! As we are moving I have relied on it a little more than usual, and C’s tantrums relating to it have been something else! Of course, moving is disrupting her and this may be adding to it?

    One positive is though it has made me feel better about my normal decision to restrict it normally to 30 mins a day, if that. I will stick to this again for now once normal service is resumed! I was beginning to feel like an evil mother!

    • September 25, 2013 / 7:55 am

      Completely agree! When we are all feeling better and can get out the house TV will be very much restricted!

  2. September 28, 2013 / 6:45 pm

    Oh no – look at that photo! My daughter’s not too bad – there’s the odd time she’ll shout, but it’s brief and she’s easily distracted. But then, she’s never been a tantrum-thrower. My one year old may prove to be a very different story..!
    I hope she’s feeling better now x

    • September 29, 2013 / 10:26 pm

      Thanks! Still very poorly – It’s been a week now, and her Brother has it too. Hoping they’re both better in a few days x

  3. September 29, 2013 / 11:09 pm

    Mine are older and I’ve learned to warn them the end is nigh when watching stuff! Can be very moody at switch off..

  4. mother.wife.me (@motherwifeme)
    September 30, 2013 / 8:45 am

    Oh dear! I think it goes in stages, our now 3.5yr old didn’t watch any TV until she was 18m old – just because of circumstance, rather than a greater plan – but since then she’s gone through phases of wanting to do nothing but watch it. One thing I started doing was telling her five minutes before that the TV was going to be turned off and as she’s got older, I’ve asked her how long a programme is on for (then checked for myself because her version and reality aren’t necessarily connected!!), then said that at the end of it, the TV is going off. That way I think she feels like she has more control over the situation and that means less frustration. #BPTW

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