TV Dependency: Prevention
You're already protecting your child from TV shows that are violent or harmful. But, do you know how important it is to limit TV time to 1 or 2 hours a day? Many children average 4 or 5 hours a day. And the consequences of over-dosing on TV are many. It can replace reading, thinking, and study time, all of these being essential for competence in school. It can replace practice time in art, music, and sports---keeping your child from pursuing his special talents. TV time cuts into social interactions with family and friends.
If you think there's more to childhood than TV, do something about it:
- First: Get control of how much time your youngster spends watching TV. Do not use TV as a baby-sitter for young children.
- Second: Don't allow your child to have a TV set in his bedroom, because this removes your control over TV hours. Late TV shows cause sleep deprivation which leads to poor learning and memory the following day.
- Third: Turn off the TV set during meals. It's so distracting that normal conversation and interaction with your family becomes impossible.
- Fourth: Have a rule that homework must be finished before any television is watched. You can always record his favorite show on the VCR and watch it later.
- Finally: Set a good example. TV shouldn't be your only leisure activity. Help your child find the balance between TV and other forms of recreation. Doesn't anyone take a walk anymore?
If you have any questions about limiting television, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.