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Television (TV) tips

Written by : DoctorNDTV Team

  • Set limits on the amount of TV your child watches. Be firm. Limit children's TV viewing to an hour or two daily. Before children watch television, they should do their homework and chores, but TV should not be used as a reward. Helping children find things to do instead of watching TV, such as sports, hobbies, or family activities, can make setting limits easier.
  • Help your child plan TV viewing in advance. Choose programs from TV listings at the beginning of each week. Keep copies of the family viewing schedule where everyone can see them (by the TV, in her bedroom, or on the refrigerator) as reminders.
  • Know what television shows your child watches. Watch TV with your child. When programs show sex, alcohol or drug abuse, or violence, talk about what you see. Help your child understand what he is watching. This is a good time to reinforce your own family values.
  • Do not permit TV watching during dinner. Dinner is often the only time that families are able to be together during the day. If the TV set is on at the same time, it will get in the way of talking to each other.
  • Do not allow your child to have a TV set in his bedroom. Not only will he tend to watch more TV, but he will probably stay in his room away from other family members. When a child watches TV in his own bedroom, it is harder for parents to guide his programme choices. He may get less sleep, causing him to be tired at school the next day.
  • Set an example of behaviour you wish to instill. If you want your child to read more that is what you should do. If you would like him to go outdoors for physical activity, make it a part of an enjoyable family exercise program.
  • If TV causes arguments or fights, simply unplug it for a while. Children can be creative when TV is not taking up all their time and attention.



[Adapted from the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)]

  
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