Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Raising kids is stressful. Let’s share ways to make it less so.

How TV can do good for your family

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

News and studies on how television can be a negative influence on both children and adults are widely known and, of course, for the most part, it is all true. Too much sitting in front of a TV can be bad for the eyes, posture and child’s growth while shows with low quality content can play a big part in forming one’s personality. But like so many other things in life, if used and consumed properly, television can also be educational, as well as a mediator for a whole family bonding.


Choose the shows wisely

While there are some obvious shows and programs that children and teenagers shouldn’t be exposed to, there is the similar amount of shows and channels that can really do no harm. What’s more, most of the shows that are appropriate for kids contain certain morals and teachings that can only become useful later in life. It is the parents’ responsibility to pay attention to what kind of shows the child should be allowed to watch, and luckily, with the power of today’s technology, it is fairly easy to obtain information on the contents of certain shows as well as set up parental control for inappropriate programs.

Break the passive habit

Sitting in front of a TV and doing nothing is a sedentary activity that, as mentioned before, can only cause health and growth issues in children. Therefore, making the TV time interactive for your kids is something that can mean a lot for your whole relationship. Instead of just leaving the child in front of a TV, make an effort to watch the shows together while encouraging the child to ask questions about the content. You can play many games in front of a TV as well. For example, shows that deal with learning letters, numbers or other subjects can turn into fun family quizzes that are really beneficial for child’s education and ability to think and deduce.


Manage TV time

You should set an example for your kids. If they see you spending your free time flipping channels and sitting in front of a TV for hours, they are unlikely to understand why they shouldn’t do the same. In order to manage your kids’ TV time successfully, you need to manage your own first. That way, children will not grow dependant on this kind of pastime and will be able to perceive television as something that is there to entertain them for a relatively short period of time until they find something better or more interesting to do. That way they will grow up to be teenagers and adults who carefully select the shows they are going to watch in order not to waste too much time doing nothing, but still get the benefits of the screen time, content-wise.

Birth of hobbies and interests

Children pick up interests and develop hobbies when exposed to engaging content, be it in the playground, through books or TV shows. There are various entertainment channels that you can try getting them interested in, such as those which stream theatre online and that would effectively replace the hassle of obtaining theatre and opera tickets while still presenting you and your family with rich artistic content from all over the world.

Complete prohibition of TV time will not do your family any good, just like banning video games and sweets or trying to prevent the children from getting dirty while playing outside is unlikely to be productive. The key is in moderation and effective use of television in order to spark the creativity and love of learning in your kids.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.