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May 27, 2019

7 Ways to Turn Off a Screen Without Causing a Meltdown

The best part about your kid's screen time is that it's a short break for you. The worst part is the meltdown when you turn it off. Here's how to avoid it.

Helping kids regulate their own media use is an ongoing process, and along the way you’re likely to experience some struggles when it’s time to turn off the TV or any other digital device. When it’s time to transition from TV watching to another activity, using prerecorded shows comes in handy. 

On traditional broadcast TV, one show flows into another, but when you use the DVR, a DVD, or even a streaming-video service, your kid can turn off the TV when the show is over. 

If you don’t have any of these options, consider using the “watch later” feature on YouTube. The site allows you to select and add videos to a playlist. Your kids can simply watch what you’ve selected together.

To mitigate the meltdowns, try these things:

1. Have a plan
Explain beforehand to your kid that he or she can watch a certain number of shows or for a specific time period. Let them know what to expect will happen after they turn it off too. For example, “when you are finished watching one show, then it’s time to have a bath.” 

2. Create a routine
Kids who know they have to turn off the TV before a specific activity (like dinner) can sometimes transition more easily.

3. Show your kids how to turn off the TV or device
They may enjoy practicing that skill, and it will give them some power over their situation, which they’ll appreciate.

4. Avoid back-to-back shows
If you’re using a streaming service, disable the setting that automatically plays the next show in a series.

5. Try giving a two-minute warning
Prepping kids and then sticking to that time works for some.

6. Turn it off and stick to your guns
Some kids react better when they’re not warned in advance that the show is ending — possibly because they’ve come to expect the fight. Either way, you may have backlash behaviour, but it will dissipate if you stay calm and consistent. Move along to the next activity. 

7. Give praise
If your child successfully transitions to another activity without a meltdown, show your appreciation. Say something like, “Thanks for turning off the TV and coming to set the table!” Kids will be more likely to follow through again when they have a positive experience.

Here at Discovery Point Nursery and Academy we provide a full day of activity for your child to enjoy stimulating tech-free time for imagination and growth. Feel free to talk to us for ideas on how your child likes to keep busy at daycare which you can use at home!

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Discovery Point Nursery and Academy daycare in Woodbridge Vaughan.