Tips for weaning screen time

I am 12w4d pregnant and finally starting to feel better after a rough first trimester. During the last few weeks, I’ve been letting my 3yo have alot more screen time than we usually would allow. Previously, we would only use screen time for a long car trip,being in a waiting room, or the occasional family movie night. We really try to restrict it. I am now trying to wean him from watching cartoons daily like he has been. I feel guilty, but it was the only way for me to cope sometimes feeling so ill. The last 3 days, he’s almost constantly asking to watch a show and then having epic meltdowns when I say no. We try to practice gentle parenting, so I will name his feelings and try to offer other activities. I’ve been trying to keep our days filled with activities, but that’s also a little tougher right now with social distancing and everything being closed. Any tips? Anyone gone though this? Thanks!

Maybe you can let him watch cartoons daily, but for a lesser amount of time than you have been. That way, he won’t feel as if you’re saying no every day, but you’ll still be cracking down on screen time.

Personally, my parents didn’t go through this with me, but I’ve known a few family friends that have with their children. They usually do what you are, and offer an alternate activity.

I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

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A friend of mine tells her child how many episodes / how much time they’ll be allowed before the TV is even on, so that they know what to expect. Perhaps this could help with the weaning process? Such as “only three episodes today”, and then in a few days make it two, etc. Of course there’s still “one more?” meltdowns, but having set a limit prior seems help enforce it when it’s switch off time. You may do something like this already, but it’s what first popped in my head when I read your post. I hope you find a technique that works. Good luck!

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Thanks, yes I’ve been trying to withhold until after dinner/bath and watch we watch a couple Disney shorts as a family (5-8mins each) before bedtime stories. We’re on day 3 of no shows during the day, so I guess I’ll just try and stick with it for now. I didn’t really expect this to happen, it really threw me off guard. But, the first day when he had a meltdown after being told no show right now, it was one of those parenting situations that I totally would have maybe allowed it, but now that he was reacting in that way the answer was definitely no.