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Discussion Starter #1
Our toddler watches 2-3-4 hours of TV everyday and it's driving me crazy!!

I saw studies that it affects development a bunch, especially at such a young age..

But playing with my toddler for 2-3-4 extra hours also kinda drives me crazy! And my wife is the same way. I thought after we put the toddler in a part time morning kindergarten things would be better, but, seems like my wife is perfectly happy to flick on the TV.

Then again I think she is improving somewhat, I've been trying to talk to her about it but she gets angry that I'm blaming her instead of just taking the kid myself. I suppose that's fair but I also feel like when I take the kid myself as soon as I want a break she just flips on the TV again!!!

Help? Your Thoughts?
 

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You and your wife have to negotiate a division of labor which is workable for you. You are correct, that too much TV and entertainment causes a "dumbing-down" of children. Toddlers are at a difficult age because you really can't safely leave them to their own devices for very long. It will get better as your child matures, if you give the child a good foundation now which he/she can grow on.
 

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You and your wife have to negotiate a division of labor which is workable for you. You are correct, that too much TV and entertainment causes a "dumbing-down" of children. Toddlers are at a difficult age because you really can't safely leave them to their own devices for very long. It will get better as your child matures, if you give the child a good foundation now which he/she can grow on.
yea, communication is difficult! I will look for ways to communicate better! and yea, we should formally divide the labor instead of informally which creates conflict.
 

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I'd have a major issue with my toddler watching hours of TV daily, and I'd have a problem if my spouse continued to turn it on regardless of my feelings. Does your wife make it a habit to dismiss your concerns and do things that bother you?

One thing you might want to try is to keep the issue on the front-burner, but approach it a new way:

"Honey, I'm just not ok with toddler watching TV everyday. I'm happy to come up with (and fund, purchase, facilitate, create) more developmentally-appropriate alternatives, like enrolling him in afternoon music classes, or setting up activity stations and baby gates to ease the burden of chasing him all over the house, etc. This issue is important to me and I'd like to find a solution. What do you think?"

And follow through. We did not use the TV at all at that age, but we had a very consistent routine that included regular mealtimes, playtimes, and naptime (bedroom downtime after the naps ended), and a set bedtime routine that gave everyone the security of knowing they aren't always "on the clock" chasing after a toddler for 12+ hours a day. I'd recommend helping her set this up if she's the primary caregiver, otherwise she's likely using the TV to keep from being overwhelmed during the day.

Alternatives that gave us hours of peace when my boys were that age:
Water table
Train table
Park time
Music class
Art station
Matchbox cars and racetrack
Book basket

More suggestions: If she's using TV time to get house chores done, consider hiring a biweekly cleaning service. If she's using the time to fold laundry, suggest putting on music and having toddler "help." If she's using TV time to meal prep, get toddler a child-sized cooking set so he can "cook" too, or set him in his high chair with tubs of playdough.

Help her find alternatives and a set routine. The part-day preschool helps, but in some ways, the time spent getting the child ready, packing snacks/lunch, and pickup end up taking more time from getting stuff done than you think. She needs more tools for a better system.
 

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Our toddler watches 2-3-4 hours of TV everyday and it's driving me crazy!!

I saw studies that it affects development a bunch, especially at such a young age..

But playing with my toddler for 2-3-4 extra hours also kinda drives me crazy! And my wife is the same way. I thought after we put the toddler in a part time morning kindergarten things would be better, but, seems like my wife is perfectly happy to flick on the TV.

Then again I think she is improving somewhat, I've been trying to talk to her about it but she gets angry that I'm blaming her instead of just taking the kid myself. I suppose that's fair but I also feel like when I take the kid myself as soon as I want a break she just flips on the TV again!!!

Help? Your Thoughts?
Why aren't you two spending time with your child TOGETHER? That's the point of a family. You three could be reading books with him, playing jigsaw puzzles, acting out plays, playing house, throwing a ball, going on walks to look for bugs and birds...need I go on? These things will also help you create or maintain a bond for your marriage to thrive.

Aside from that, do you have a dedicated babysitter? You two should be able to be relieved at least ONCE a month on a regular date; raising a toddler is hard work! You two need a break!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd have a major issue with my toddler watching hours of TV daily, and I'd have a problem if my spouse continued to turn it on regardless of my feelings. Does your wife make it a habit to dismiss your concerns and do things that bother you?

One thing you might want to try is to keep the issue on the front-burner, but approach it a new way:

"Honey, I'm just not ok with toddler watching TV everyday. I'm happy to come up with (and fund, purchase, facilitate, create) more developmentally-appropriate alternatives, like enrolling him in afternoon music classes, or setting up activity stations and baby gates to ease the burden of chasing him all over the house, etc. This issue is important to me and I'd like to find a solution. What do you think?"

And follow through. We did not use the TV at all at that age, but we had a very consistent routine that included regular mealtimes, playtimes, and naptime (bedroom downtime after the naps ended), and a set bedtime routine that gave everyone the security of knowing they aren't always "on the clock" chasing after a toddler for 12+ hours a day. I'd recommend helping her set this up if she's the primary caregiver, otherwise she's likely using the TV to keep from being overwhelmed during the day.

Alternatives that gave us hours of peace when my boys were that age:
Water table
Train table
Park time
Music class
Art station
Matchbox cars and racetrack
Book basket

More suggestions: If she's using TV time to get house chores done, consider hiring a biweekly cleaning service. If she's using the time to fold laundry, suggest putting on music and having toddler "help." If she's using TV time to meal prep, get toddler a child-sized cooking set so he can "cook" too, or set him in his high chair with tubs of playdough.

Help her find alternatives and a set routine. The part-day preschool helps, but in some ways, the time spent getting the child ready, packing snacks/lunch, and pickup end up taking more time from getting stuff done than you think. She needs more tools for a better system.
Yea she has a hard time respecting my wishes! But I am a never ending source of complaints and demands, apparently.

She IS the primary caretaker, BUT I booked a kindergarten from the mornings 8:30 -> 2:30 so there's a big break there! And I do some parenting, often taking her out for bike rides and so on. This has been an ongoing issue of mine and she likes to dismiss my complaints by flipping it all back on me.

Which just makes me feel guilty, because, YES, I could be accompanying the tot 24 hours a day to avoid TV time.
 

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How is a 2-yr-old in Kindergarten? Do you mean daycare/preschool? And how many days per week? In the US, Kindergarten starts around age 5, and even most preschools require a child to be potty-trained, which many are not at age 2. There are daycare-preschools that accommodate young toddlers.

If your daughter is enrolled in daycare 5 days per week from 8:30-2:30, I have to ask what's going on with your wife to need to use the TV to keep a child occupied for the limited afternoon time she's caring for her? Does your wife work part-time? Full-time from home? If so, maybe I can help give other suggestions, but if your wife is a SAHM who's using the TV to occupy your daughter several hours a day after attending daycare for 6 hours per day 5 days per week (and she's doing it against your wishes) I'd say something else might be going on here...depression, maybe? Lack of parenting skills? I don't mean to sound harsh, but I absolutely see why you'd have a problem if this is the case.
 

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Find things to do with your daughter that you enjoy doing.

Get a bunch of books and read to her. There are books that parents can read that teach children a lot. Reading to a child teaches them about the topic of the book; teaches them to love spending time with you (relationship building); teaches them to love to read. It can even teach them to read.

We read a lot to our son from about the age of 6 months on. He was reading at 8th grade level by age 4.

Here are just a few to get started.....

https://www.amazon.com/First-100-Words-Roger-Priddy/dp/0312510780/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1506098435&sr=8-7&keywords=books+for+toddlers

https://www.amazon.com/Numbers-Colors-Shapes-First-100/dp/0312510810/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1506098435&sr=8-10&keywords=books+for+toddlers

https://www.amazon.com/First-100-Animals-Roger-Priddy/dp/0312510799/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0312510799&pd_rd_r=8WZ87WJ0BYR3TNX6DQSR&pd_rd_w=E66Sl&pd_rd_wg=dgd29&psc=1&refRID=8WZ87WJ0BYR3TNX6DQSR

https://www.amazon.com/Bright-Bbaby-colors-numbers-first/dp/0312502192/ref=pd_sim_14_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0312502192&pd_rd_r=TTDEMS2PCM761DWGXZHE&pd_rd_w=OwJTF&pd_rd_wg=yetqE&psc=1&refRID=TTDEMS2PCM761DWGXZHE

https://www.amazon.com/Shake-Sesame-Street-Birds-Favorites/dp/037585424X/ref=sr_1_60?ie=UTF8&qid=1506098603&sr=8-60&keywords=books+for+toddlers

Just go to your local library. they have tons off books you can check out for free. Libraries also have kids activities that can be a lot of fun.

Often times, when parents park their kids in front of a TV, it's because they don't know what to do with children. Maybe the two of you could look for a parenting class to learn how to play with her, read to her and do healthy things with her.

You send her to play school for most of the day to get her out of your hair. but she is probably getting a better upbringing there than being entertained by the TV all day.

But when at home she's in front of the TV. That produces as little zombie who expects to be entertained and who has no real thoughts of their own.

It also produces a kid who has no real bond with their parents. That bond is going to be all important when she's a teen. It's what will hopefully prevent her from ending up doing drugs and being sexually promiscuous.

Doing things with your daughter when she is young will affect the either rest of her life.
 

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OP, I believe that the issue of your toddler and TV time is a symptom of a much larger problem in the dynamic of your marriage. I get the feeling of a fundamental lack of respect towards you from your wife and towards your wife from you. Your own choice of a username would seem to support this theory...

If you want your wife to respect your wishes, you need to respect her position. Respect begins with empathy and empathy is bred from understanding. Place yourself in her shoes. Taking care of a toddler is tough (I know. I have two of them now - a 16 month old and one about to turn 3 yrs). Take your kids off her hands for a day and still try to accomplish goals that you have around the house. Not easy to do. Try to take 15 minutes as a break to collect yourself with a toddler. Not easy to do. I think you get where I'm going with this. See how often you are tempted to plop the kid in front of the TV just to recover your own sanity.

[Note: If this is something that you are not willing to do, I think you already know who's in the wrong here]


In addition, the next time you and your wife have a conversation about this, do not talk to each other. Listen to each other. It's not enough to simply say. "You didn't do X." or "I want you to do X". You need to say, "We've discussed before about doing X. Was something preventing you from doing X?" or "Why was X not done after we discussed this?" or "It is important to me that X get done this way because...". Asking these types of questions and offering these types of explanations keeps you engaged with your wife and promotes understanding between you both. This leads to working together much more harmoniously...



Good luck with this.
- And for the record, I completely agree with limiting a toddler's TV time. My wife and I are more successful with this some days rather than others....
 
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