Teaching appropriate TV Habits to your children - Useful techniques and suggestions
By Andrew Loh
Excessive TV watching may be detrimental to your children's normal brain
growth and development. On the contrary, controlled and meaningful TV habits could be helpful. If not
controlled, children tend to develop an obsession to television and its
flashy programs. Therefore, you may need to keep a constant watch on your children's TV
time. Here are some of the simple, yet effective techniques that can
teach better TV habits to your children.
Limiting the time for TV watching - Parents may need to
exercise their parental rights to control their children, the number of
hours they watch TV programs. This is perhaps the best possible solution
to control your children. Create a strict and rigid rulebook that establishes daily TV routines.
Keep the TV in an open area - Never ever, keep the TV in
an enclosed area, away from your sight. A remote TV can be a time bomb.
Offer better alternatives that promote education and learning
- If you enforce NO TV rule in a rigid manner, children may show
their frustration, sadness and disillusion. To prevent this eventuality, you may need to
offer better alternatives that promote quicker learning process. Some of
the better alternatives are family board games, puzzles, playtime in a
public park or even a good family themed movie. When your children learn
how to live without the tube, then they will show an inclination to
learn at an accelerated pace.
Do not keep TV in bed and dining
room - TV in a bed or dining room will spoil your children's
daily routines. It could derail children's sleeping patterns or it
could even spoil their eating habits. Make sure that you turn off TV during
lunch or dinner hours.
Disallow TV while your children are busy with their schoolwork
- Never ever, allow your children watch TV, when they are doing their
homework or school project work.
Make TV a privilege and not a right - Your children
should earn their time to watch TV programs. TV time should not become a
right for your children. You may need to establish TV viewing rules.
Preferably, TV should become a family utility for everyone in the home.
Enforce a NO-TV Day rule - You can try a weekday TV
ban. Make sure that no one watches TV on this day. Instead, you can take
your children to a local library or public park. Ensure that you reserve
this day for activities or schedules that can enhance their intellect and
Check programs and their timings - Check the daily TV
program schedule, before you switch on the TV. The programs you choose
for watching should be fit and safe enough for the entire family. Appropriate
TV programs could include educational programs, plays, animal and nature shows or
even good cartoons.
Talk to your children about the ill effects of watching too much TV -
Talk to your children about what they should watch on TV, which
program they should avoid and how to use the time in a productive way. Share
your beliefs and values about TV. If inappropriate content appears on
any of the channels of the TV, you can ask them to turn off the TV or switch to
another channel that shows proper content. If children insist on watching something
inappropriate, like a fight or an argument, ask some intricate questions like:
Note: Some TV programs could depict alcoholism, violence, prejudices
and racial stereotypes. If your children are watching such shows, you
can ask them to turn off the TV and do something else.
Similar rules and regulations should also apply, when you bring home
movie DVDs. Rent only those DVDs that promote learning and
personality development. If you want to offer your children relaxation or playtime,
give them an opportunity to watch some of the greatest cartoon classical movies
from Disney world.
The quantum of influence TV has on children will depend on several
factors, like the time taken to watch the TV shows, children's age
and personality types, their preferences and whether they watch the
program alone or with their parents. Whatever the case, parents will
need to keep a tab on children and their TV habits. It is better to be
on safer side, than allowing your children possibly developing an infatuation or
intoxication for the TV (perhaps idiot box?).