Tips on how TV can be good for kids

Tips on how TV can be good for kids

The following are guidelines from child experts that you can put into play to protect your child from the bad effects of TV, and perhaps use TV for their benefit instead:

No TV for under twos

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend letting your child under 2 watch TV or any form of video. Children under 2 are actively developing their brain and TV can get in the way of playing, exploring, and interacting with parents and others – activities that develop his cognitive, physical, skills, as well as emotional and social growth.

Limit TV time for older children

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that TV time for children older than 2 should be limited to one or two hours a day.

Select age appropriate viewing

The programs your children watch should be appropriate for their age and should not contain any violence. They should preferably be educational and reinforce language and social skills. For preschoolers, choose shows with simple story lines that look like actual story books. These are found to improve vocabulary and the use of language in general.

TV time should be a reward

Treat TV watching as a privilege or a reward – something that your child earns after he has read, done his homework or done his chores. Another idea would be to allow him to watch one hour of TV after one hour of reading a book.

Make the right choices for your child

Choose what your child watches. When the chosen show is over, turn the TV off. Choose shows that promote positive values that you want your child to adopt – like having empathy, being kind, responsible, and cooperative.

Learn how to bend the situation in your favour

If the show your child is watching does not teach positive values at all, make it a jumping point for discussion. You can wonder aloud and talk to your child why a character is mean. You can also discuss what you would do in a character’s situation, like when being bullied.

Interact with your child during and after

Watch with your child, and talk to him about the show that you’ve watched after it’s over. Discuss character motivations with him, and encourage empathy. Explain disturbing images to him, and that conflicts can be resolved without violence. Also, explain that cartoon characters can do things that real people cannot. Let him know the difference between what is real and what is not. Also, a study done by a University in America found that when parents watch with their children, the chhildren learn more and have a better understanding of the programs they are watching .

Make TV time an active learning experience

Encourage your child to make TV viewing an active learning experience, rather than a passive one. Encourage him to sing and dance with the TV characters or talk to him about what he sees and hears. Ask him questions like “What would you do if that happened to you? Why?”

The most important thing of all to remember is to be a good parent and lead by example by, of course, limiting your own T.V. watching – but here are some other very important rules to put into place:

  • Do not put TV in your kid’s bedroom.
  • Turn the TV off during meals so it will not get in the way of your family’s togetherness.
  • Do not let your school kid do his homework with television on the background.
  • Encourage your child to do other things besides watching TV. Make him play outside, draw, read a book, join his friends, or more importantly, spend time with you and the family.
  • Fill the room where you have TV with a lot of books, toys, puzzles, board games and other non-video entertainment.