Children and Television

Children and television - What are the effects of watching TV on a child? How much is ok? How to keep my child from being addicted to television? These are some of the questions every mom asks.

Sometimes it's so easy to allow the TV to be the babysitter so that we get a few moments of peace and quiet.

It can be addictive - as children can escape into a world of entertaining make believe. Normal life becomes boring and too much like work in comparison. TV replaces conversation and communication between people. Your child prefers to stay home rather than go out and meet people. Too much TV watching can lead to obesity as your child in not moving around. It always helps to be around to explain any negative messages that might be portrayed. TV commercials can also influence your child to desire stuff that he/ she doesn't need or that might not beneficial.

However, there are some good programs too. Helping your child to have a balanced approach to TV viewing is an important life skill. It can help him/ her develop self control and planning abilities. Here are some ways:

  • Planning various other activities to keep your child occupied.
  • Setting a good example yourself.
  • Checking the TV schedule and planning to watch a particular movie as though you were going to the theatre. Make it exciting.
  • Limiting the amount of TV time and monitoring the programs watched.
  • Helping your child to plan and choose the best shows within the limited time frame.
  • Encouraging your child to think of other forms of entertainment.
  • Tape the show so that it can be watched at a more appropriate time eg. after homework or on the weekend.
  • Buy or rent DVDs instead.
  • Keep books, board games and other interesting things to do accessible.

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