Let’s face it; these days kids watch too much TV. While a little television never hurt anyone, it is important to establish healthy TV habits early on - from the moment your little one starts to recognize the colors on the TV. If you are worried your child is developing bad habits, it is never too late to fix them.
Preview Before Kids Watch
Watch the show yourself or read reviews online to see if the content of a show or movie is appropriate for your child. This can ensure your child is not watching something that is too violent or something that goes against your values.
Watch TV with Your Kids
By co-viewing a show with your child, you can discuss it with them. If something inappropriate is shown, you can also point out how that behavior is not accepted in your own house.
Create a TV Time Limit
Limiting your child’s screen time is challenging - especially if your child is reluctant to give up their TV time. But, by establishing rules and keeping it consistent, you can avoid nasty battles. For example, your child can have 30 minutes of TV time each day or no TV until after dinner.
Establish Rules for TV Time
Have rules for when and why children can watch TV. If your child misbehaves that day, take away television privileges. Make sure that they understand watching TV, even for a few minutes, is a treat - not something that is just part of their daily routine. Be firm and consistent with the rules too. For example, your child cannot watch TV until his chores are done.
Watch Out for Commercials
Even if the show is appropriate, the commercials may not be. Watch out for commercials and make sure they are not advertising things to your children you don’t want them to see.
No Eating and TV Watching
Try to limit how much your child eats while watching TV. According to the latest obesity research, eating while watching TV can lead to an increase in your child’s weight and even establish poor eating habits.
Use the Parental Controls
Most televisions and cable providers offer parental controls. You can use these to limit what channels your child accesses, what recordings they can make and even if they can fast forward or delete programs.
Television should not be looked at as a negative thing, but you should regulate your child’s exposure to television. By establishing good, healthy habits early on you can ensure your child looks at TV as a positive experience and a privilege they must earn.