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Tips to Balance Preschooler's TV Time

As parents, the sad truth is we let our kids watch too much TV. On the average, a child in the U.S. watches 3 to 4 hours of TV a day. The recommendation for a preschool child according to the American Academy of Pediatricians is not more than 2 hours a day. It can be hard to limit TV for the very fact that parents unfortunately use TV time to get a rest from the kids. There's nothing wrong with getting a much needed rest from the kids, but it's just not in the best interests of your child to be watching even 2 hours a day.

Balancing TV Time With Family Life

If there's going to be any control over your preschooler's TV time, you need to plan. If you don't plan, nothing is going to just magically happen. There needs to be a balance of TV with family life. Here are some suggestions to maintaining your child's TV time to an appropriate level

  • Stay firm with your rules from day one. Have a time limit and stick to it from the beginning. Setting limits and staying firm with those limits are absolutely necessary.
  • Keep it at the same time everyday. It's suggested that TV time remains the same time everyday. It just goes along with your plan and gets your child in a routine of what he or she does during the day as in play, nap, eat etc.
  • Set a good example for your kids. When your child is up, make sure you're not plopping down in front of the TV and doing the same thing you don't want them to get into a habit of doing. Be an example. Besides, your kids will be nearby and you probably don't want them listening or watching what you watch. There's plenty of time to watch your favorite shows when they nap or after they go to bed. With today's recording technology and the Internet, you can watch your shows anytime you want.
  • Decide together what your preschooler is going to watch. Pick a show together and let them watch that show. That gives you the opportunity of letting them watch something educational that stimulates learning while enjoying TV and you know that they are watching a show that's appropriate for their age.
  • Make television viewing physically inconvenient. Don't have the television in the kids bedroom or in the kitchen. Put it in a room that requires you to have to be in the room for the purpose of watching TV. This helps train your child to understand that TV is something that's an event and watched in a certain room of the house.
  • Consider setting up a points and reward system. Have television viewing be a privilege that is earned. Set up behavior rules and/or chore and assign points to each one. Use behavior charts, or the Kidz Pointz online tracking system to monitor. When the kids achieve the number of points you determine is reasonable, they can watch TV, or watch some additional TV.

Follow these tips and TV can be a balanced part of your preschoolers life. It just takes some common sense practices to make sure it doesn't become the predominant activity in your child's life.