Passive square-eyed zombies?
Watching less television could make your preteen easier to parent.
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Do you stick your child in front of the goggle box with the hopes of having them behave? Think again! Having your child vegetate in front of the television all day doesn’t mean that you’ll have a passive little angel on your hands. According to the Parent24 2009 survey, only 57% of children aged 6-9 years old who watch TV for more than 3 hours per week are considered easy to parent. 63% of kids who watch less TV are considered much easier to parent.

Some 42% of all children have unsupervised access to television and the more they watch, the less time they spend with mom and dad. Does this make parents think that they are easier to parent? Or is this just a way for mom to get the house work done while little Johnny is kept occupied?

Single dad and columnist, Marlon Abrahams doesn’t think TV is all that bad. “Mostly we watch DVDs and I must say that I personally don’t agree with the bad reputation TV has for kids. We have a selection of child-appropriate films, which my kids like to watch over and over again, before choosing something new.”

Before things go to far though, blogger Bexmom is trying to nip her son’s TV watching in the bud. “I try to limit his time in front of the TV to weekends only and perhaps one special night a week - the rest of the time, if he gets bored I try to give him tasks to do - stick stickers in a book etc…it’s tough and it’s hard to break habits that have already formed, you really need to be strong and not cave”

Even as a child I was never one for watching much television but then again, I always have preferred a good book above sitting in front of the tube all day!

Do you think watching television really affects your child’s behaviour in any way?

The Parent24 2009 survey had more than 8000 responses. The survey, weighted by gender, race and education, represents approximately 7 million metropolitan adults educated to the level of at least matric, across South Africa. For more about the methodology and for results analysis by Jean Redpath and Michael O’Donovan of Hlakanaphila Analytics, download the Parent24 2009 survey PDF. Or see full results.

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