On this week’s Parenting segment, one parent isn’t sure whether the “trance” their daughter enters when watching TV is normal.
“She is five and doesn’t spend much time in front of the screen,” they told Moncrieff.
“She will normally watch an episode of something in the evening after dinner before getting ready for bed.
“However, when she is watching TV she gets in a bit of a trance - you literally have to stand in front of her to break her concentration.
“My dad thinks its worrying and said he’s never seen another kid act like that.”
Time of day
Child psychotherapist Joanna Fortune said the child is likely watching 10 to 20 minutes of TV each day, which is a “small amount”.
“I'm wondering if the trance is more linked to the time of day that she's watching it, as opposed to what she’s watching,” she said.
“It's after dinner before getting ready for bed - it's at a time of day when she's winding down, when she's probably in that kind of sleepier state and it's easier to zone out.”
Watch TV together
Joanna also pointed out that young children take in media in different ways.
“Some of them will play while half-watching,” she said. “Some of them will use TV to get into discussions – when you do bedtime, all of a sudden, you've got these big questions that are coming that they've extracted from the TV show.”
Joanna recommended the parent watch TV with their child a bit to decipher what makes their child enter a trance and to engage with them.
“Maybe another day or the next day, when you're doing play with her, play out the themes that are in those shows,” she said.
“Use small worlds or miniature role play or find some books of some of the shows she like.
“That way you're deepening her experience and helping her process what she's seeing.”
It’s also important, Joanna said, to top this all off with a “cuddle”.
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