Have the next activity ready to go when it’s time to turn off the boob tube—the more time there is to wait, the more time there is to complain. Use the last few minutes of any TV program to prepare her for what’s next: “Remember, it’s dinnertime after your show’s over. What do you want to drink?” “Should I get out the finger paints or watercolors when the show’s over?”
If you’re going out, put on her jacket or other gear during the last few minutes of the program.
Whenever possible, let your child be in charge of the actual turning off. Make it a “big kid” thing. Just don’t show her how to turn it back on. Build in a reward if your child turns it off on her own.
Tell your child that the TV is “tired” and that it needs to rest for the night.
When you’re really having a problem getting your kid to turn off the TV, experience technical difficulties—turn the TV to a channel with only static (usually accomplished simply by changing the channel on the TV itself, not the cable or satellite box). Tell your child that you “just don’t know what’s wrong—I guess we have to turn it off for now.”