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Little girl www.flickr.com.photos.37115419@N02.4667955708.Q: When a certain commercial for eyeglasses comes on TV, my two year old practically jumps in my arms and holds on for dear life! In it, one pair of eyeglasses makes a karate noise and splits into two pairs. I’m pretty sure it’s the karate sound that scares her, since her brother wears glasses and she’s not afraid of those. She gets so scared I don’t even watch channels that show that commercial. What should I do?
Confused mom, Fresno, CA

A: Dear Confused,

You’re already doing the right thing—you see that she is terrified of this commercial, so you’re avoiding it.

To understand what’s going on, think about this from the perspective of a two year old: She probably has no idea what that loud, scary sound means to adults. To her, it’s an unfamiliar noise that makes one thing split into two things—and for a young child, changes like that can be very, very frightening.

Use this as an opportunity to limit the TV she sees that isn’t designed for young children. This commercial is aimed at adults (since they’re the ones buying glasses) and will air with TV shows that are also for adults. These shows are likely confusing, distracting, and anxiety provoking for her anyway, so I recommend waiting to watch adult TV until she’s asleep or out of the house.

For ideas on how to occupy your child while you’re getting things done—like cooking dinner or doing laundry—take a look at this post: How do I stop myself from parenting with television?

Enjoy your media and use them wisely,
The Mediatrician®

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