Change the TV show, change the behaviour...

Andrea Danielle

New Member
Ok, I know this has been talked about a lot already (I might have started some of these discussions in the past) however, I am finding TV to be such a difficult thing in our home. I wish difficult child would never watch TV at all, but easy child and husband really want to watch so I have been struggling to get the right balance. We tried no TV for 3 months and it was bliss for us but easy child was devastated. We tried only weekends, but then difficult child didn't want to leave the couch all weekend, he was mesmerized and obsessed.
Then we bought a PVR (thing that is programmed to tape specific shows). For the past few months, we had reasonably ok shows taped but a couple were really the choice of easy child, like Suite Life of Zak and Cody, That's so Raven, Smart Guy. I thought they were really not bad, no bad language, violence etc.. but difficult child became obessed with them. I mean really obsessed, he would watch the same episodes again and again and would quote lines from Suite Life especially. We was acting so cool, and using attitute of a 12 year old. He would walk by a teenage girl on the street and say, "look, there is a hot babe". It was horrible!! He is just drawn to these things. He was also hitting his brother and out of control recently. I was starting to wonder if he needed to have his medication increased. Then on Wednesday, I decided that I had enough of this so I reprogrammed the PVR to only tape small kids shows like Zaboomafoo, Lazy Town, Franklin, Bernstain Bears and some nature shows. It was really funny hearing the kids go through the menu of taped shows. I explained to easy child why we were doing this and although he was sad not to have his shows, he is accepting it and we are trying to be creative about finding ways he can watch them live. Anyway, difficult child has been watching really nice shows for 3 days and things are wonderful! He has been completely loving and nice again. He is acting more like himself, not like a tough 12 year old. Now he is addicted to Lazy Town, but it is way better than before. Ahh, we are having a nice moment of feeling effective in changing his environment so that he can succeed :smile:



Well-Known Member
Good for you, Andrea! TV is one of the first things to be minimized in our home when Duckie starts not being able to control herself. It's strange, but lately she's not been that interested unless we are all watching a show together!


Active Member
One of the things I started doing is letting my oldest stay up late on weekends so he could watch movies or play video games that my difficult child couldn't handle. easy child's often get resentful (and rightly so) about those things that are withheld or taken from them because of difficult child siblings and this has been one way I could balance things out a little. It's worked great and we have some alone time with easy child Sr each week since we'd usually watch whatever with him.


New Member
Andrea, I have had the same problem with my difficult child. He seemed to become obsessed with Spongebob and was getting really nasty and saying mean things. I thought that if I watched it with him and told him that some of the things the characters said was not nice that he would not use those words. But after going to the developmental pediatrician, she recommended I reduce TV to only 2 hours a day and make sure that the shows are age appropriate. I cut out Spongebob completely. I have him watch shows I know don't have any nasty content (like calling each other idiots) and what a difference. He is a lot better these days. No more calling us nasty names and no more fighting over the TV.

I'm so glad that cutting down TV viewing has worked for you.