TV Watching For Kids

In today’s world you cannot realistically prevent your child from watching DTH Direct to home TV. Even if your yourself decide to give up TV viewing (not a very realistic option either!) the child will still hear friends and schoolmates avidly discussing their favourite programs. Also once a child realizes that TV is ‘forbidden’, she will find it even more desirable and will feel deprived if she is prevented from watching. So accepting that the DTH is an integral part of the life of today’s children, it becomes necessary to take steps to minimize the harmful effects.

The harmful effects of TV viewing amongst children is linked to :-
– Eye Problems
– Greater Violence
– Lack Of Respect For People (Elders, Women Etc)
– Greater Consumerism
– Reduced Attention Span.
– Obesity
– Poor School Performance
– Breaking Down Of Family Bonds
– Reduced Social Skills
– Unrealistic Ideas Of The World.
– Rise In Fear From Watching Violence And Horror Shows.
– Fall In Creativity.

Postpone the inevitable. Don’t use the TV as a convenient baby sitter and distract the child as far as possible from watching.

  • Introduce love of outdoor play, reading, music, dance etc so that TV does not hold the exclusive interest of the child.
  • Ban the 24 hour TV syndrome. If you have it on all the time, the child will also see it as the only source of entertainment.
  • Monitor the viewing habits of your children. Sit down once a week with them and check out the weekly schedule. Let the child choose one favourite program for each day while you select one educational program for each day.
  • Limit dth TV viewing hours for the child. Explain that more than one hour is bad and that the older people in the house would also like to see their favourite programs.
  • If you get cable, check to see that no undesirable channel can be tuned in.
  • Encourage an interest in channels like Kermit, Discovery, National Geographic. These channels can broaden the children’s horizons
  • Be careful of Cartoon channels – not only do they depict a distorted notion of violence (Tom the Cat can fall from 10 stories & still not get hurt) it also contributes to reduced attention spans.
  • Try and discourage the child from the habit of watching TV alone. If she is used to another person watching with her, it will prevent her from switching on the TV whenever she wants to. It will also help to monitor what she watches.
  • If possible try and see an episode or two before letting the child watch. This can help you determine what your child will learn from the show and may also help you in combating undesirable influence.
  • Stand firm against violent and horror shows and shows that make fun of or ridicule people on the basis of stereotypes.
  • Don’t make the TV to be a forbidden fruit or an activity to be disapproved of. Accept that it is fascinating – for you as well. Refer to TV viewing casually and with no overtones of displeasure (unless the child has disobeyed a rule).
  • Don’t treat TV viewing as a reward for good behavior.

What matters is what your child watches, and the balance between time spent on TV viewing and other activities.

  • Teach your child that fulfillment lies in participation and not in being a spectator.
  • Never have the TV on during meal times.
  • Set an example by making it clear that TV viewing is one of many activities for you and that people are more important.

Related Links

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