The television with its millions of channels has become an integral part of our lives. There is hardly a home where kids are watching the television often. With computers and mobile phones adding to this, it seems that these electronic devices have almost taken over play ground time of the kids. As mothers it is crucial that we ensure that the children are not watching too much television, and also that the programs that they are watching are not affecting them negatively.
A few tips below on how to judge if the kids are getting too much of TV:
- Is all free time spent in front of the TV - If every time your kids get free time they decide to turn on the TV then this is an indication that the children are getting obsessed with the device. Try and encourage the kids to do something else like playing a board game or reading a book in order to pass their free time.
- Are meals in front of the TV – Another important indicator that the kids are getting too much television is when they begin to eat their meals in front of the set. Meals should be a time when kids learn about proper table manners and also interact with the rest of the family. Having their meals in the front of the television means that the kids are loosing out on both these aspects.
- Is out door play minimalistic – If you kid is not playing at doors at all and instead begs you for television, then this is a clear indication of TV addiction. Never let outdoor play be shelved in order to watch a program on the television. Children need physical activity and not only does it help them keep better physical health but they also learn to socialize with other kids and learn to make friends.
- Does the child stay awake late to watch TV – As kids grow up they may begin to start delaying their bed time in order to watch TV. Again this indicates clearly that the addiction for television is getting out of hand. Children need 8 to 10 hours of sleep in order to be well rested and the TV should not interfere with this time. If you child complains of not being able to sleep, offer a book instead but do not allow the television set to be turned on.
While the television is not all bad and there are some great educational programs on it too, the idea is to not let it get out of hand. Too much television is bad for everyone and kids rarely know when to stop. While books stimulate imagination, the television just makes us look blankly and copy the images on our minds. So in case you find that the television is taking up any more than 30 minutes a day of your kids’ time, step in and divert the child’s attention to other avenues.