My son is eight months old and continually crawls to the TV and presses the buttons or slaps at the screen. We tell him ‘no’ and remove him from the TV but he is back at it within seconds. He knows what he is doing is wrong because when we say no he looks at us and laughs and goes right back to doing what he was doing. At eight months old he is too young for a timeout, so how do we handle this situation?
Most definitely, he is too young for a timeout, but no matter how many times he heads to the TV, it’s your job to put him back where it’s safe. This is a very important learning stage for a child of this age. He may well laugh at the word no, but he also needs to learn the importance of it. It will often take a baby or toddler longer to learn what “no, don’t do that” means, so be firm.
CONSIDER: Every year families are struck with tragedy when their toddler is crushed by a falling TV. Ensure your TV or TV stand is secured to the wall and your child is unable to pull it down.
BABIES AND TV: The Canadian Paediatric Society suggests limiting toddler TV viewing to one hour a day. The American Paediatric Society recommends that ideally, babies and children under two not watch television at all. In reality, television is part of family living, so if you do watch, avoid using it as a babysitter and watch age-appropriate programs with your child.
Published in October 2010.