TV – Postpone and magnify

I’m happy with the way we use TV, so this post isn’t to get into that whole debate.  But I’ve noticed something in the last few weeks and it’s getting beyond coincidence.

We don’t watch much TV.  The big girl used to have a DVD while her sister was ‘napping,’ it was on, she’d have another activity as well.  Now she’s at preschool at that time, but DH often puts on a MacGuyver DVD before or after dinner (does that date us?).  So we’re only talking an hour or two a day, which makes her behaviour really noticeable.  TV doesn’t relax her or calm her down, except temporarily.  It postpones and magnifies.  So if she is tired and I pop on a movie on Friday afternoon, she happily watches and then she’s exhausted.  If she’s upset when something goes on she’ll calm down and watch, but when it finishes she’s beside herself.

I think it would be waaaaay too simplistic to blame TV itself – there are all sorts of other dynamics going on.  I mean if she’s tired and stays up an extra hour to watch something, of course she’ll be exhausted.  And if she’s upset and I really really need to cook dinner rather than being with her, of course she’ll be more upset later.  And if she’s happy before something goes on there’s really no problem.

It’s more an interesting thing I’ve noticed that I’m throwing out there as food for thought.  For us, it’s meant that I’m now very careful when to use TV.  If I think she’s overtired, I’ll do something quiet with them instead.  If she’s upset, the same.  I haven’t come up with a solution for getting dinner done, looks like I need to produce more leftovers for use in emergencies!  Or I suppose I could be organised?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Gosh, reading this just gave me a lightbulb moment! DD was a real handful at bedtime today, pretty much bouncing off the walls. I was really not expecting it, I thought we had had a quiet day at home, and tried to think if she had eaten any of her trigger foods (she hadn’t). Now I realise, it must have been due too much time spent on the computer watching DVDs – it was pelting rain here, and I had a lot to get done.


  2. Posted by MummyTiff on February 15, 2010 at 1:08 am

    This is SO the case at our place too! If DD needs something – me, a sleep, her Daddy, some food, then postponing that with TV only makes things worse!

    I wonder if it’s related to how much they watch TV/how used to it they are. DD is like your LO and very rarely watches TV…….it’s on for an hour or 2 a day.

    She often asks to watch “one show” before her nap time during the day and by the time that show is finishes she is BEYOND tired when prior to that I dind’t even think she’d be ready for a nap.


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