Parent’s Guide to Kid Smart TV Viewing

The infuence of television content and messages can expose children to inappropriate knowledge which can mislead their development. However, when used wisely, television can be educational and serve as a springboard for discussing important issues.

How can parents mitigate these negative efects of television on their children?

Consider these before deciding on their big screen time.

General Discipline

  1. Limit TV viewing to less than two hours per day for children over two. Too much or prolonged watching will not serve much good for our children. Pre-set a time limit and schedule for how long and often they can watch.
  2. Homework and other responsibilities are the priority. They must be aware that school, chores, and exercise are of higher importance than TV.
  3. Watching TV as a backup activity. There are many other more meaningful and important activities for our children. We must educate and train them that watching TV can be considered one of the last on the list. Selecting Good Quality and Appropriate Content.
  4. Expanding their general knowledge Introduces them to enriching content and documentaries where they elevate their knowledge and understanding. Once you and them can identify what is classifed as meaningful, watching TV serves both learning and entertainment.
  5. Improve speed of familiarization. It can sometimes be faster to gain new knowledge and understanding through watching TV. Stronger impressions and remembrance are likely through watching.

Potential Benefts

  1. Watch TV together as a family. Working parents can be busy and may not spend enough time with their kids, so make TV watching a family activity. You can

monitor your kids’ reactions and discuss them as a family.

  1. Talk about what your kids see on TV. If a show raises issues about violence, sex, or drugs, use it to discuss these topics and present your values. It can be a good start and step towards educating them on specifc subjects.
  2. Set a good example. Limiting your TV viewing will give you more credibility with your kids. Show them how you use your leisure time for reading, outdoor activities, and other worthwhile pursuits.
  3. Analyze the commercials. Advertising can have a powerful impact on children. It can help to get to know what they think or feel better.
  4. Encourage healthy snacking. While it might be better to limit snacking while watching TV, it is also an opportunity to introduce them to healthy snacking, where they may unknowingly start eating something they usually resist.

TV can expose us to diferent cultures and points of view that may not be accessible in your community, such as learning about the aboriginal cultures of Australia or studying the physics of bridges.

If you use television wisely, our children’s lives can be enriched. Help your kids limit their screen time, select high-quality content, and encourage family discussion and activities.

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