Kids love to watch television. They can become engrossed in it, and if we’re not careful it can take over their lives. Children can become too addicted to it that they will avoid meals, throw a tantrum if taken away from it, and even believe that what they see on TV is real life. It can be very scary if limits aren’t established in the household.
Television isn’t bad. There are many positive reasons to have it on in your home. When your children are young, the shows that they watch are useful for teaching and for their development. They teach our kids how to count, spell, language and especially certain life skills, such as, manners and politeness. They also show values such as love, what is right and wrong, and trust.
As parents we need to set specific times for watching television. Some kids turn the television on as soon as they get in the house after school. On weekends it may also be the first thing to do as soon as they get out of bed. If left unregulated, TV can take over your child’s life.
During the week, television viewing should be kept to a maximum of two to two and a half hours. Focus on getting your kids involved in other things when they come home, finishing homework and chores, helping out with dinner, taking the dog out for a walk, or playing outside with friends are all great ways to keep your kids busy and away from the television set.
Try turning off the TV during dinner, use this time as family time. It’s a way to communicate with the family and take interest in what happens in their lives every day. Maybe something really exciting and out of the ordinary happened that you now get the opportunity to hear about. We sometimes miss out on getting to know each other if we don’t spend time talking to one another.
Obesity and being overweight is becoming more of a problem in our kids today. Sitting and watching TV hours on end cause over-eating. With over-eating and the sedentary behavior it is a recipe for unhealthy living. By turning the TV off and giving them this time to get outside and do something active can help eliminate this issue.
Television is meant to be entertaining, but not to take over your life. Children need to be active and not sedentary. Regulate the amount of TV time for your kids and promote outdoor or other mental development games and exercises. After all, real life is much more interesting than anything on TV anyway.
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