TV – Media and your Kids

The Addams Family premiered September 14, 1964

The Addams Family premiered September 14, 1964

Healthy Use of TV
Safe use tips include:

Set time limits
It is easy to watch TV for hours at a time. If you think there are other ways your children could better spend their time, give them a screen time “allowance” – it will lead them to make thoughtful choices about what they want to watch during their available time. Alternately, allow them to watch their favorite programs, but not to aimlessly channel-surf.

Do your homework.

Remember, the content of what your kids watch is just as important as the amount of time they spend watching. Learn more about the story, actions, and characters in a show before you allow your children to watch it.

Keep TVs out of your children’s bedrooms

Studies have shown that children with TVs in their bedroom tend to eat more unhealthy food and exercise less, and may have a direct risk of being overweight. Additionally, as youth watch video content on other platforms such as computers, tablets and mobile devices, they still are at risk; studies have shown that children with electronic media in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight and have sleep problems.

Watch TV and movies with your children.

Watching TV with your children offers a chance to share ideas and talk with them about content. Educational television programs may be beneficial to children, but be aware that many have not been researched to verify these claims. If your children watch educational television make sure programs are developmentally appropriate and that they do not involve violence. You may also want to watch the show with your kids to see how much they are learning and help reinforce the lessons.

Use media ratings to help make decisions.

Movies and television shows are rated according to age and often have descriptions of content as well. Use the rating systems as a guide when you make decisions about what your children are allowed to watch.

Be a media role model.
Use the kinds and amounts of media you’d want your children to use and they will follow your example.

Encourage social and extracurricular activities.
The amount of time that children use media is often determined by the amount of down time that they have at their home. If you think your child is spending too much time watching TV, find other fun activities for them to do.

 

The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children’s Hospital

 

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