TV and your child
Television has become another member of your family and mine; we eat meals near it; learn from it and spend more time with it than with any other single individual.
is central in our children’s lives – as tutor, babysitter, teacher, entertainer
and salesperson all rolled into one. Has television grown so powerful that we
can no longer control it? No. But it very well might unless we act now to harness
its influence and channel its awesome power. Television, like a potent drug,
can either enhance or cripple a person’s life.
can a parent do? Follow these guidelines – they will make a difference!
Now. Many children are already habitual TV viewers by the age of two.
Harmful viewing habits can be changed only by substituting new habits. Do
a little at a time; some each day.
The Television In A Seldom Used Room. With the TV in an area away from
the living room, family room and other places where heavy family activity
occurs, children will watch less and plan more what they want to watch.
To Have One Night Each Week Without TV. Meet as a family and pick a
no-TV night. Decide whether you want to do things together or have “alone
Using The TV As A Babysitter. You would not leave your child alone in
the care of a stranger. A television cannot respond to a cry for help, nor
can it tell when a child is frightened or that the programme is for adults
Ahead What To Watch. With the TV guide, decide what you and the kids
will watch every night. Don’t just turn on the set to see what’s on.
Out Programmes Made For Kids. Help your children plan to watch programmes
designed for their ages, interests and maturity.
TV With Your Children. View their programmes with them and help them
evaluate what they’re watching in light of your family’s values and traditions.
Kids Distinguish Between Make-Believe And Real Life On TV. Explain that
the terror and violence on TV shows is acting and not real-life violence.
TV Commercials Selling Junk Food. Help your children see that ads are
trying to persuade them to spend money by developing buying habits which
could be unhealthy. Let your children help select nutritious family foods
TV To Start Family Activities. Make a list of TV-advertised products
and see how many you have in the house. Watch different news programmes
the same night, and see if all use the same lead stories. Play along with
your favourite game show as a family and play your own version with the
TV off. Do a TV commercial product test and compare your results with theirs.
Reinforce non-sexist programmes by discussing them with your kids.
Other Leisure Activities Besides TV. Watching TV is relaxing, but so
is a good crossword puzzle, game of cards, Scrabble or Monopoly. If you
break the TV habit, your child will have a better chance of avoiding an
addiction. Buy a puzzle book and work at it together; a model rocket and
help build it.
To Your Child. Start at an early age to help your child discover the
magic of reading. Children of all ages enjoy being read to by their parents.
need to try all these ideas at once. Start small by picking one you want to
try and doing it. Post this list on your refrigerator and choose as a group
one idea to try each week.
How much TV do your children watch per week? Do you think they could watch more or should watch less?