Does it seem like the TV is always on and your kids are sitting in front of it watching their favorite kids TV shows? You’re not alone. Recent studies say kids TV watching is at an all time high. According to Nielson, TV watching for kids 2 to 5 years old is almost 25 hours per week, while kids 6 to 11 years old are watching over 22 hours each week.
There’s many reasons for that. As parents, we’re stressed to the max and we live in a world that doesn’t seem as safe as when we were growing up. Letting our children watch television – especially programming we think is educational – seems like a safe alternative. However, the experts are also saying that’s not a healthy alternative for our kids. Childhood obesity is also at an all time high and many are making a correlation between that and TV watching. Poster store
So what’s a parent to do? First, decide you want to set some limit, on the kids and yourself. Next, these five rules for watching television with your children should get you started.
- TV should not be a babysitter. It’s easy to let the kids watch television while we make dinner, pay the bills or even relax ourselves. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours a day of television for children over two years old. That gives kids enough time to work on other activities like sports, crafts or reading and still have time interact with siblings and parents.
- No TV in children’s rooms. No matter how well you believe your monitoring system is, when the door is shut, it’s not telling what your kids might be watching. In addition, no TV in a room helps make sure your kids don’t develop a hermit mentality. Part of raising healthy, well-adjusted children’s is encouraging your social development. That’s somewhat hard to do when their locked away in a room with noses to their TV and computer screens.
- Establish a TV watching schedule. Block out favorite time on a calendar so there’s no surprises (or pleadings for an extra hour so I don’t miss my favorite TV show). TV watching can be tied to finishing homework by a certain time or even doing chores. Moreover, make it an event, like going to a movie, so kids understand that TV watching is a treat and not a right.
- Learn about the kids TV shows your children are watching. Don’t rely on what anyone else has to say about a TV show. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to learn about television shows and even see previews. Ultimately, parents should make the choices on what appropriate for they’re children to watch – whether it’s SpongeBob SquarePants, Hannah Montana or Sesame Street.
- Watch television with your children. This is probably most important thing a parent can do. Of course, it’s a way to monitor what the kids are watching. Kids always have questions about what they see on TV. Who better to answer those questions then a parent?