All parents wonder if their children are watching too much television. If left to their own devices, children would likely watch TV much more than they should. Many children would do nothing more than sit comfortably in front of the television all day long. When it comes to children and television, there are ways to ensure that your kids are not enjoying too much TV.
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends only one to two hours of television per day for children under the age of 18. Of course, most children are going to watch more than that. Many families sit around the television at night and watch together for two hours or more each evening.
If you feel that your children are watching too much television or you simply want to ensure that they do not overdo it with the TV, there are a number of things that you can do. First, you will need to determine just how much TV your kids are watching each week. You will need to actively monitor when your children watch television and how long they watch at each interval. A limited one to two hours each day is recommended, so begin there. You want your children to have other activities such as playing outside, drawing or even listening to music as opposed to constantly being parked in front of the television.
Television viewing for children does not just stop at the time limits. You also need to know what your kids are watching. Unfortunately, there are many programs on television channels today that are less than suitable for children. You will need to check into ways of limiting your programming. Most televisions and satellite systems today offer blocks that will allow you to prevent viewing of undesirable programming. Be sure that you look into these options.
Your children, particularly younger children, need to learn how to play interactively instead of watching television. Invest in some board games for the family to enjoy together or look into certain toys that promote active play. Obesity in children is a major concern in the United States today and one of the reasons that children are obese is because they are not physically active as much as they should be. Take your child outdoors and play sports or even hide and seek. The activity will be good for both of you and it will prevent your child from becoming addicted to the television set.
If you work from home it can be very difficult to break away from the television babysitting club. Many work from home parents use the TV as a means of keeping children entertained while they work. You will need to begin scheduling time for other activities and teach your children that there are other things to do besides watching television. Remember that television watching includes watching local channels and satellite or cable as well as movies that you pop into the DVD player. The idea behind limiting television viewing in children is to get them completely out from the front of the TV and get them enjoying other activities. Be sure that you are not using your TV to entertain your children.
If your child is watching more than two hours of television every day consistently, then it may be time to consider other activities. Of course, there may be times when a marathon of a favorite show comes on or you are planning a family movie night when there will be more viewing hours. As a general rule however, an average of two hours per day is more than enough television time for a child.