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Monitoring Kids and the TV

Kids typically watch quite a bit of TV. Some studies indicate that children may watch TV an average of 4 hours a day. As a result, by the time she graduates high school, your child will have spent more time watching TV than in a classroom.

As a parent, it's important to monitor what your child watches and how much she watches each day. Exposure to inappropriate content can have a negative impact on kids. But, television isn't all bad; TV viewing can be positive experience when parents use it as a learning tool. Exposing children to educational TV programming is one of the key benefits of TV viewing.

There should be a healthy balance when it comes to the amount of time your child watches TV. You should always also restrict the content your child views. Not all TV is good TV, and not all TV is meant for kids. As children get older, TV tastes change, but you have to continue to monitor what your child watches.

Television Viewing Isn't All Bad

Technology has advanced over the years. As a result, there are loads of channels specifically tailored to children of all ages. For younger children, there are channels that educate and entertain. The TV can actually help your child learn to read, write, and count. In addition to providing educational value, TV time can help parents and kids bond. The positives of spending time with your child are immeasurable. Watching a movie or any kind of positive programming with a child is important.

Moderation is the key to healthy TV viewing. As long as TV viewing does not become the primary activity, it can be a positive part of your child’s life. The older the child, the more TV they may want to watch. But, unlimited viewing is not a good idea. The amount of TV kids, and parents, watch should be moderated. While TV is a great solution for entertainment, it should never be a child's only option for entertainment. When the weather is bad outside, TV provides a great escape. Watching TV until the sun comes back out is a must for house-bound kids.

The Negatives of TV

Because TV now offers so many different channels, it's important that you personally monitor what your child watches. The more channels available, the better the chances your child will be exposed to inappropriate content.

As a parent, be mindful of the following types of programming:

  • Sexual Content
  • Graphic Violence
  • Adult Language
  • Illegal Drug Themes

Parents are the only buffer between kids and inappropriate television content. Children learn from what they see. If a child views programming with adult language, she may think that using adult language is ok. If a child views violent programming, she may conclude that violence is acceptable. Television isn't always the best venue for teaching values.

Parental Control Your TV

Depending on your TV and TV service, you may have the power to control what your child watches on TV even when you are not watching with them. Most television programming is now rated according to age appropriateness and or type of content. These ratings are designed to let you know if the program features violence, sexual content, or adult language.

Ratings are also broken down to indicate the degree of violence, sexual content, or adult language. These ratings help a parent determine what may be necessary to restrict in terms of channels and content. Using the rating system, you may be able to program your TV so that only certain channels will be accessible to your child. Furthermore, you may also be able to program your TV so that your child can view only certain content within a pre-determined rating range.

TVs are not just a tool to provide kids with entertainment, they can be used for education. From teaching a child to read, write, or count, to providing bonding time between a parent and child, TVs can be a positive influence on a child and family as a whole.