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Promoting Healthy TV Time

Two serious questions accompany the issue of kids and television. One is the amount of time kids stare at the boob tube. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of TV per day. The other issue is finding quality programming for kids to watch. But, finding appropriate TV shows for children isn’t as hard as it seems.

Finding TV shows for Kids

There are many shows that are not all that great for kids to watch. Just because a show is on a kid’s channel does not make it truly appropriate for children. It's important to do a little research to determine which shows get the thumbs up and which should be avoided. Check out these helpful hints for finding great television shows:

  • Opt for educational shows.
  • Try to skip commercials. Kids see an average of over 35,000 commercials per year, with the vast majority promoting unhealthy lifestyle choices. You can avoid commercials by recording shows and skipping the commercials during playback or by opting for programs on DVD.
  • Check out the variety of shows on PBS. Also, look for shows and documentaries on learning channels.
  • Avoid allowing kids free access to television. Monitor what and when your child watches.
  • Set rules regarding what’s appropriate, and be consistent in enforcing those rules. Give your child a chance to earn TV time by using it as a reward. Use charts to set up a reward system, and reward good behavior with parent-approved TV time.

Television often gets a bad rap. While there are a lot of not-so-good shows, there are also some great ones. Ask other parents, and even your child's teacher, for recommendations. Do your homework, and you and your kids will enjoy safe and appropriate TV time!