Tweens & Teens
Bullies & Cyber Bullying
Behavior Problems
Classroom-Student Behavior
Extracurricular Activities
Internet & Technology
Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Peer Pressure
Positive Discipline
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Determining Appropriate TV Time

More and more television programming is aimed at teen and tween viewers. To combat the desire of your tween to "veg out" on the sofa, you'll need to create a balance between television and other activities. It's important to set rules and expectations for your kids when it comes to television viewing. Doing so will help prevent a number of issues. Arm yourself with these interesting facts about tweens and TV.

Surprising Facts About Teens and TV

  • The average child spends more time watching TV than he does in the classroom. In a one year period, your tween spends 11,000 hours in the classroom and 15,000 hours watching TV.
  • TV viewing exposes your teen to thousands of sexual references and sexual content that includes murder, sexual assault, etc.
  • Television exposes your child to approximately 20,000 commercials.
  • For each hour your tween spends watching television, the risk of obesity increases.

Studies have concluded that more than one or two hours of TV a day has a negative effect on your teen's performance in school. The area that's most affected is reading.

Guidelines for Parents and Television Viewing

  • Always set limits on TV time. Consider setting up a points and reward system so that your tween has to earn extra TV time by doing chores, homework, etc.
  • Outlaw inappropriate TV. If a TV show is not appropriate, don't let your teen watch it.
  • Be your tween's best example. If you're a couch potato, your kids probably will be too. Get involved in physical activities that get the family out of the house.

Tips to Balance TV with Everyday Life

  • It's critical to have family rules regarding how much TV is ok. Stick to those rules. Sit down as a family and decide on the rules, talk about the pros and cons of TV, and work together to engage in a balance between TV and other activities.
  • Get involved in other activities. Sports, after school activites, band, and other groups are great ways to balance TV with other activities. Schedule a regular family night. Play a game, talk, go for a walk in the park, or get together with another family to encourage social interaction.

As a parent, it's important to find a balance that works for your kids and your family. It's not impossible to reduce the amount of TV that your teen or tween watches and encourage involvement in non-television related entertainment.