TV Time-Out

Tips and Ideas for Healthy Television Viewing

    •    Stock the room/s in which you have your TV with plenty of other non-screen entertainment (books, kids’ magazines, toys, puzzles, board games, etc.) to encourage kids to do something other than watch the tube.

    •    Have your child to ask to watch television before being allowed to turn it on – just like they have ask if they can go out to play or to go to someone’s house.

    •    Keep TVs out of kids’ bedrooms.

    •    Turn off the TV during meals.

    •    Don’t allow your child to watch TV while doing homework.

    •    Treat TV as a privilege that kids need to earn — not a right that they’re entitled to. (After chores and homework are completed)

    •    Set a good example. Limit your own TV viewing.

    •    Use the ratings. Age-group rating tools have been developed for some TV programs and usually appear in newspaper TV listings and onscreen during the first 15 seconds of some TV programs.

    •    Use screening tools. Many new standard TV sets have internal V-chips (V stands for violence) that let you block TV programs and movies you don’t want your kids to see.

    •     Watch TV with your child. If you can’t sit through the whole program, at least watch the first few minutes to assess the tone and appropriateness, then check in throughout the show.

    •    Talk to kids about what they see on TV and share your own beliefs and values. – (Try the 3 Strikes and You’re Out Game…where if your kids see something offensive or opposite your belief system, they count the strikes. After 3 strikes, the channel changes)

    •    Offer fun alternatives to television…like playing a board game, starting a game of hide and seek, playing outside, reading, etc

    •    Preview movies and TV shows before your children watch them. Watch the show or read reviews/ratings to verify that the show meets your standards for content and value.

    •    Watch TV with your kids when you can so that if something inappropriate is shown or said, you can point out that it is something that doesn’t meet your family’s standards.

    •    Set time limits.

    •    Discuss the concept of commercials and the goal of advertising with your kids.

    •    Use Parental Control Tools such as V-chips, blocks, TiVO and filters to help you monitor what your children are watching.

    •    Get your children in the habit of turning the television off after a selected program is over.


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