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5 Tips to STOP your kids from watching too much TV

Updated on November 30, 2015
peachpurple profile image

Peachpurple has two kids, a teen and a school age kid. She had been through tough parenting and learned a lot of tips and tricks about kids

Watching TV

Kids are absorbed into TV, their lives are full of cartoon imaginations
Kids are absorbed into TV, their lives are full of cartoon imaginations | Source

How many hours do you allow your child to watch TV a day?

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Who Is The REAL Culprit?

A baby never knew what television was all about until one day his mom, dad or grandparents plop him onto his or her lap, sat on the sofa and started to turn on the television while pressing the remote control to search for his or her favorite television program.

As a toddler gets older, his favorite pastime turns out to be watching television to entertain him when he is bored. Most parents regularly sit their children in front of television in order to keep them quiet after a busy day at work or while parents are still busy with house chores, talking on the phone or facing anxiety with computers.

Don’t let your toddler or older children automatically switch the television on or watch whatever appears as the program may not be suitable for the child to understand and not appropriate for his age. Your toddler or older child would be much better off playing with neighbor’s kids, other playmates or simply introduce some other activities to entertain him.

Toddler tantrums

Toddler tantrum is one of the common problems
Toddler tantrum is one of the common problems | Source

Why watching too much TV is a BAD habit?

  • Irregular eating habits
  • Neglecting homework
  • Neglecting duties
  • Obesity
  • Laziness to move around
  • Bad eyesight
  • Tantrums
  • Feeling tired
  • Anxiety

Reason Why Kids Shouldn't Watch TV:

Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight

Proper eating time

luncheon meat sandwich, my son's favorite breakfast
luncheon meat sandwich, my son's favorite breakfast | Source

Problem No.1- Not Eating Properly

The biggest problem with my children who are glued to the television set from the minute they switch on their favorite program is, they are not willing to leave their seats. They would either ask for more ample time to delay their mealtimes or simply having their meals slowly by taking their own sweet time chewing the food or keeping the food in their mouth even though it is their favorite dish.

Have you done your homework?

Neglecting homework should be avoided
Neglecting homework should be avoided | Source

Problem No.2- Not Doing The Homework

In addition, they will not leave some time to get their homework done or even spend some time talking to the family.

Frankly speaking, I have to admit that most parents are tempted to allow their children to watch television without any limitations as long as it keeps them quiet and settle down.

So bored...Don't like this cartoon...How about this? No...
So bored...Don't like this cartoon...How about this? No...

2) Children Could Not Watch Television For A Long Time

Surveys have shown that an average child watches approximately 28 hours of television a week; 4 hours a day which is a waste of precious time spent on non-active physical movement. Majority toddlers and children age 5 and below could not watch television programs for a long time.

Take note that when your toddler or older child has watched around 1 hour of any television programs. He may grab the TV remote control and switch to different television channels repeatedly, kept asking you non-related questions to the program that he is watching, wonder off to play with his toys while the television is still on and even dance in front of the television set to attract your attention!

Although he is not watching the television at all, he would whine or cry over it if you try to switch off.


Try to distract his attention by introducing him some other activities or offer him beverages while cajole him to switch off the television to save electricity.

A time out

a timer or setting an alarm clock to control your kids schedule of watching TV
a timer or setting an alarm clock to control your kids schedule of watching TV | Source

Solutions & Tips

  • Nevertheless, I had decided the best thing to do is to control the hours of watching television by thinking out a plan which works for both of us. My children and I ended up having a little chat, agreed to a reasonable negotiation on how many hours they had to spend for outdoor activities, time to concentrate on homework, no television when having proper meal and number of hours to watch television programs in a day which suited their age.
  • Watching television for a several hours without a break could strain your children eyes and bad for their body postures too. Obesity is one of the biggest problem in older children and teens these days. It is best to limit the hours of watching television to several times a day. For example, allow them to choose their favorite program, watch for 30min and turn it off and then turn it on an hour later or at a different time.
  • The good news is, everyone agreed to follow the arranged schedules which work out well for us. Otherwise, I would be constantly annoyed whenever they escape from their pre-arranged schedules and the nagging would be endless.
  • Beware that toddlers and older children are typically smart and cunning when to turn on the television as soon as they caught sight of us, parents not paying much attention to what they are doing. Do not look down on these kids. They may be smarter than you think!

Which animated program does your child likes to watch?

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Mickey Clubhouse
Mickey Clubhouse
Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas the Tank Engine

3) Select educational Programs

Do not let your toddler or younger child watch violence television programs, fighting cartoons because he might act aggressively by imitating his favorite cartoon character movements and speech.

Parents should spend some time by sitting down with your toddler and watch different educational or animated cartoon programs as you may figure out the reasons behind his favorite programs. After viewing them, you will be able to decide which educational and animated cartoon programs that are suitable for his age group.

Older siblings who prefer to watch violent cartoons and adventure category of programs can be difficult for a toddler to understand. Hence, introduce some excellent educational programs to your toddlers to learn about alphabets recognition and counting numbers such as Numberjacks, Sesame Street and Mickey Clubhouse. Learn how to paint , making simple crafts with recycle objects and easy drawing of characters with Louie, Art Attack and Fingertips. Any child would love to watch Barney and Friends, Pingu, Pocoyo, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine because these educational programs teach children how to be friendly, learn to care for others, admit mistakes and takes responsibility for one’s action.

Reason Why Kids Shouldn't Watch TV:

It is hurting your little eyes

How To Your Kids Away From The TV

The best way to prevent your child from watching TV is to provide him other interesting activities to capture his attention. Here are some tips that might be at help:

Let's play together!
Let's play together!

1) Invite friends and neighbors to come to your home

If your toddler has older siblings, he will be used to playing with other children but it will be helpful if he meet playmates of his own age. This is a good time to invite friends and neighbors with young children to come to your home so that they can play together while the adults are around them.

Every young child by the age of 3 needs other children of the same age, not just to have fun with but also to learn how to get along with. Toddlers and children need their own freedom to run, shout, blocks and boxes to build with, cars, dolls to play with. However, parents should firmly stop children’s war play or any other kind of play that indicates mock fighting, mean or killing which they mimick brutality on television and movies. Parents should explain to them with not complicated reasons, do avoid scolding them.

Playground is a fun land for children of all ages
Playground is a fun land for children of all ages

2) Take Your Child To The Park / Playground

Go for an evening walk with your toddler to the park or the playground. If the afternoon weather is not hot, cool and breezy, take your child to the park. Most children had taken their lunch or dinner by then. Do not let them switch on the television after meal .

Majority mothers are free after house chores are completed and older siblings are back from school. Allow your toddler to join the kids in the playground, let him play with your neighbors’ children but make sure you are standing nearby them for safety purpose.

Walking in the park or playing in the playground is the best way for simple exercise and burn calories fast.

Look mommy... I'm swimming like a fish!
Look mommy... I'm swimming like a fish!

3) Swimming to Get Physical Exercise

Purchase a plastic inflatable swimming pool, large enough to occupy 2 to 3 kids. A great time to use in hot weather by pumping up the “swimming pool” with a bicycle air pump ( it would take ages if you were to blow air into it and I am sure you would be out of breath by the time you are halfway through ! ) and fill it up with cool water. Allow your toddler or children to invite neighbors’ children to join in a splashing time to cool off the heat.

Otherwise, take your toddler to the community swimming pool, enroll him for the swimming lessons. Swimming helps your toddler to get physical exercise that are good for both arms and legs.

After a good swim, your toddler would be too tired to watch television. I am sure he would rather choose the bed instead !

Reading together is even BETTER!!
Reading together is even BETTER!! | Source

4) Reading Books

When you notice your child is getting bored, promptly bring out his favorite story books before he reach for the TV remote control.

Purchase some good reading books from bookstores which are on sale or buy 2nd hand books, a wonderful way to recycle old books. Stack the books neatly in bookshelves which are within his height so that he could reach for the books that he wanted to read anytime when he has the “mood”.

Alternatively,bring your child to the local library or bookstores for some “free reading ”. Reading books is an excellent method to increase and widen your toddler’s knowledge. It is never too early to start reading books, regardless of toddler’s age. In addition, by reading books together with your toddler everyday, helps to improve his reading skills and encourages him to have interest in reading as the child grows.

Simply set aside your spare time, approximately 20min a day. That’s all it takes!

Choose washable cloth or thick, wipe-clean board books with simple, bright pictures of daily objects and very few words will bring him lots of pleasure. Sit together with your toddler, telling him what the objects are, how they sounds like, show the real-life objects to him as you turn the pages.

Every child needs someone to stay beside him, teach him something new. His brain is like a dry sponge soaking up as much knowledge as he could. You would be surprised when he began to point, imitate your “talk ” and shows much interest in books rather than the television.

Reading a book is a very restful way of entertaining your child.

Playing boardgame together with the whole family is much enjoyable
Playing boardgame together with the whole family is much enjoyable | Source

5) Play Board Games

There are many games besides toys to play with when your child is bored. When your toddler and older children are getting into mischief, introduce them to play board games. They will enjoy board games because these games are fun and a great way to keep them away from the television.

Play board games is a wonderful way to teach toddlers and children how to take turns, accept losing gracefully and learn to interact with each other, another learning tool which every child needs to cultivate from young.

The benefits of playing board games are to allow both parents and older siblings to spend quality, uninterrupted time together with younger children while cutting down the distractions from television.

There are many board games for toddlers and children age between 18 months to 5 years which are simple to understand and colorful too. Parents should encourage toddlers and children to play board games as they learn to count easy numbers, enhance memory and thinking skills, early alphabets recognition and improve verbal skills. Snakes and ladder, Trouble, Shopping List, Hi Ho Cherry-O and Zingo just to name a few.


Keep television remote control out of sight and out of reach. Reserve it for a special treat. If you are firm, your child will learn to respect your orders and soon find other things to do.


This article is wholly owned and written by Peachpurple. Please do not copy and paste any part of this article elsewhere without given permission. Copyright by Peachpurple. All Rights Reserved.

Thank you for being co-operative. Your participation in reading this article is much appreciated.

© 2012 peachy


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