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"How to Convince Your Toddler to Watch TV from a Distance"

I am a work from home dad and my wife also works from home, we have a gorgeous and courageous son, who is a very "active and sometimes opinionated" 18 month old.

Making the time to balance work and home life is a constant challenge, so every second counts. I'm the morning person in the family, and my wife is definitely a night owl, so I have been blessed with the morning shift with the little man who is ready and set to climb kitchen cupboards while I am great need of a coffee at the same time my clients are in urgent need of me returning documents, emails, SMS and phone calls, usually pronto.

Mornings, regrettably, call for an alliance the television. Regrettably because I recall once vowing that I would 'never allow the TV to educate my children'. I have since discovered that in Australia we have “ABC Kids” - reasonably educational programs, free of advertising and it is on daily between 6am – 9.30 am (ish), just enough time for me to get back to eager clients.

The reason I call it an alliance and not a friendship is because this alone is not enough to keep the young man out of trouble, he has developed a fascination of swatting insects on television with his hand, going up close to be closer to the kids on screen (nose touching screen) and the last straw is when he rocks the 40 kilogram plasma screen by grabbing the panel.... a friend wouldn't give me such problems.

Luckily, the little guy loves all the goodies my wife bakes (usually pumpkin or apple muffins with no sugar), his morning rice milk (he actually dances with excitement in anticipation of getting it !), so I sit with him on the couch for a few seconds, offer him a baked bribe &/or milk (he usually takes it willingly) then I switch on the television, and when he looks occupied then get up - this usually this works.

Sometimes I need fetch him and bring him away from touching the screen, but old rule of being persistent and consistent applies, bring him back to the couch, give him a healthy bribe and start again. The good news is that my son is getting better all the time!

Sure my work is sometimes disrupted, but thank god for that great invention, the undo button.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 07:07:36 +0000

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