The best way to handle television and videos is to think of them as refined sugar. You
want your kids to enjoy this seductive stuff without consuming it to excess. Despite its
faults, T.V does offer access to a wonderland of experiences - sight of sounds.
It can help a child to see the past and
expose him to the future. It can take them to far corners of the world or even the
The following 10 commandments will help you derive the maximum benefits from the T.V with
the least amount of risk.
Establish sensible limits now
If you wait for your child to go to school before you set these limits, you are
asking for trouble. T.V can be very addictive. More than hour a day is too much. You
should also keep the T.V out of your child's room.
Selling limits is one thing, sticking to them is another. After the allotted show
is over, switch off the T.V and redirect your toddlers interest elsewhere. Sometimes you
have to let go when a child is unwell or so. Just make the child realise that rules
haven't changed, its just an exception.
Time Television viewing
Meal time should be family time. Avoid turning on the T.V during lunch and dinner
Watch T.V with your toddler whenever possible
Children are much less likely to sink into a T.V trance if they watch with a parent
and if there's a lot of interaction related to what's on the screen. A recent study has
shown that children with moderate access to television, who watched with parents scored
significantly higher academically than children with moderate access to TV who watched
Choose calm, quiet programs. Slower paced gives your child time to think and
absorb. Some research suggest that toddlers who watch violence on T.V are more likely to
display aggressive behaviour before letting your child watch a particular show, try to
view it yourself first, to determine its appropriateness.
Make T.V viewing interactive
Help your child view what she is watching critically. Explain what's going on in
the show during commercial breaks. Encourage child to ask questions and relate what is
happening in the show to her own life. Motivate your toddler to sing or dance or do arts
and crafts project along with T.V characters.
Avoid using T.V as a substitute for attention.
Avoid using T.V to calm, soothe or cheer your child. Try to understand and seek
solution to what the problem is rather than sweeping it behind the T.V. screen.
Do not offer T.V as a bribe or reward.
By offering T.V as a bribe or reward you are luring your child towards it.
Set a positive example
Rather than sitting down and watching whatever is on just to past time, use T.V.
listings to careful select what your child is going to watch and turn off after the show
is over. Don't keep T.V on for background noise. Your children will be more likely to do
as you do, so become a role model.
Counteract the negatives
T.V negative effects can be wiped out or minimized by :
a. Turning the family focus away from T.V
b. Passing on values seeing T.V shows
c. Stimulating creativity and intellectual development by using T.V to
d. Talking about the negative effects of violence on T.V.