Healthy Viewing for your child
It’s a constant battle with the media and all the technology around us. There are a lot of great things about TV, Video games and computers. There is an educational value on all three but what about the negatives. Below will be some tips on helping your children make healthy choices with TV, Video games and computer.
- Children are only supposed to watch 1-2 hours of TV a day. According to recent studies, children ages 2-7 years old were watching about 4-5 hours a day.
- Don’t use the TV as a babysitter unless you really have to.
- Watch shows that promote learning, diversity, different languages, strong characters and personality traits that you want your child to portray. Remember a lot of personality traits are learned. Do you want them to learn what is on the TV show?
- Limit your child’s video games and computer time. It’s not just the TV that we worry about.
- Provide alternatives for your child: Playing outside, play dates with other children, board games, puzzles, books, Music, etc.
- Keep your children involved by having them help. Children (ages 2-6) love to be involved and help. Have them be involved in daily activities and chores.
- Children should not have a TV or computer in their room. The computer should be in a public place. Children can use a computer by age 3 but never alone.
- Limit media – DVD’s are a great alternative. You can control what they watch, the amount of time they watch and also have no media like commercials to deal with.
- Watch how much TV you watch as a parent. Parents are also role models for their children. Teach them visually. Don’t watch too much TV either.
- Consequences of Too much TV, Video games and computer: Less time outside in the fresh air, less social time/lack of friendships, lack of physical exercise/obesity and too much TV time promotes attention problems and can interfere with academic performance.
- Discuss the TV shows you watch with your kids afterwards. Discuss what they liked, what they story was about, their favorite character, etc. This will help improve conversational skills, memory, social skills/interpersonal skills, attention span, focus and concentration.
Good TV shows for Pre-school age children: Sesame street, Dora the explorer, Blues Clues Barney, Clifford, Curious George, Super why, Maya and Miguel, Miss Spider’s sunny patch, Little Bill and Between the lions. Most of these shows can be found on PBS.