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Tips for Watching TV with Your Kids

Today’s television shows leave a lot of parents wondering if they should force their kids to stop watching TV altogether. One of the best ways to ensure that your elementary school-aged child is having fun while watching something decent is to actually take a seat and watch TV with them. When you watch TV with your kids, you get to monitor what they are watching, and you may even have some fun!

Family Time

Watching TV with your children is a great way to get in some good family time. Enjoying some family TV time with your kids can also be a good way to reduce family stress and address important issues by watching movies and shows that have a message you might like to talk about. Try these simple tips for sharing TV time with your kids:

  • Age appropriate. Ensure that your children are watching something that is age appropriate. Even though you are watching with them, this is still important. Watching age appropriate TV can help prevent bad dreams or other fears and concerns later on.
  • Make it a date. Make watching a favorite show together a special time for everyone by gathering together to watch it every week. Make it fun by making some popcorn so your kids see you get excited about spending time together.
  • Record shows. Watching recorded TV allows you to control exposure to commercials, some of which can be inappropriate for younger viewers. You can also skip past the sales stuff and alleviate the “I wants.”
  • Talk about it. Take the time to talk to your kids about what you watch. This is especially important when there are issues that may be difficult for them to grasp or issues that you may handle differently. Even discussing commercials and the way the advertisers are trying to sell something can be beneficial.
  • Earn it. You may want to consider making TV something your kids have to earn. Set up a rewards chart so that behavior goals have to be met before watching TV.

Together Time

Watching television with your children can be a fun and rewarding experience, provided it doesn't become something that consumes everyone's time. Keeping TV viewing in check can be a great way to connect with the whole family. Give it a try and see how it works for your family!