Many parents often complain about their children practically living in front of the television. Other parents use the television as a go-to method of pacifying their child or as an electronic babysitter. Starting television addiction from an early age tends to lead to behavioral problems in later childhood. There is also the issue of lackluster social skills, attention issues among other negative side effects. As a result, there are many tricks and tips on how to reduce TV time for children especially toddlers.
Of course, not every child is the same and some parents do not have children who experience the many side effects of watching too much TV. There are also other parents whose children are in fact not watching TV at all due to banning it outright. Other parents have children who simply do not care to watch TV at all on their own. This is in spite of their attempts to drum up their child’s interest to get them into TV. One has to ask of the much more uncommon “dilemma” of a toddler not being interested in television whatsoever. Many parents would consider this a “good problem” especially those who have children addicted to TV. There are, however, parents displaying concern who at the very least want to find out why their child lack interest. Here are a few reasons why your toddler has no interest in watching TV.
1. Your toddler has a hands-on personality
Not every toddler is alike, like adults they all come with different personalities and interests. Contrary to popular belief, interest in technology is not a universal trait. There are still many people including toddlers who prefer to use their imagination or play with their toys. Instead of trying to place them in front of the TV, perhaps having them act as if they are on a TV show is a better option.
2. Your toddler is very energetic
Many toddlers view anything sedentary in a negative light and it could be speculated as to that being the root of their television aversion. Toddlers prefer something they touch and run around with, hence the preference for toys. Many toddlers especially at the beginning of the day, have jolts of energy that they are excited to burn. They figure that this energy won’t be spent sitting in front of the TV all day so off they go!
Energetic toddlers have a preference for interacting with everything in their environment and watching TV isn’t very interactive. It is almost unheard of to have a toddler that actually wants to sit still. As a result, always pay attention to your toddler’s energy levels when you are trying to get them to watch TV. Have your toddler spend the day playing outside and other strenuous activities before placing them in front of the television. Once their energy is spent, they may be more inclined to watch TV.
3. Remember that there is nothing wrong with your child
While toddlers avoiding TV is an uncommon occurrence, keep in mind this so-called problem is not a problem at all! In fact, studies show that children who avert television tend to do so because they find proper mental stimulation elsewhere. Television and other electronic obsession have shown to be more of a hindrance to child development. In fact, it is actually recommended to keep children away from television until around 30 months of age. This is due to infants and very young toddlers not developing the retaining function in the brain just yet.
The fact that your toddler would rather showcase a creative mindset in addition to independence from an early age is remarkable. It is ideal to nurture your toddler’s aversion to TV by conforming to their interests and strengths. Always keep in mind that your toddler has their entire life to watch TV! Television is not going anywhere anytime soon, but this important developmental window will not be around forever.
4. Find alternate ways for your toddler to learn
While many parents jump at the opportunity to play an endless rotation of developmental television programs, there are alternatives. Instead of trying to make your child watch a DVD about shapes, get blocks in various shapes. Not only is this a hands-on activity that will retain your child’s focus, but accomplishes the task sans TV. Getting frustrated that your toddler won’t finish the expensive alphabet DVD? Try teaching them the alphabet song, soon enough that is all they will want to sing! One issue we have in modern-day society is becoming overdependent on technology that we forget the days before TV. There are also flashcards, board games, and other toys that will allow your toddler to learn what is shown on TV. In fact, they will likely learn a lot faster with hands-on interactions as studies have shown in the past.
5. Allow things to occur naturally
Eventually, your child’s curiosity will get the best of them and they will gravitate towards the television on their own. Whether that’s in a few days, weeks, months, or even years is up to your child. A lot of times when someone is constantly trying to push us into a particular direction, resistance is a natural reaction. Your toddler could possibly at least subconsciously, view television as a chore instead of something fun. As a result, it is best not to be forceful about it and let the natural curiosity of a toddler take over.
Another issue with being forceful is that many parents use TV as an electronic babysitter. Over time this tends to become a habit and a crutch for parents who want some quiet time or focus on other tasks. In order to avoid starting a potential habit, it is best to find other means to occupy your child. Using things your child is actually interested in will in fact do a better job as a distraction. Like mentioned before, your child has their entire life to watch TV if they so choose. So there is no need to push it into their lives so quickly.