Children and TV: Limiting your child’s screen time
Children and TV often go hand in hand. Understand the effects of too much screen time — and how to enforce reasonable limits. Are you concerned about how much time your child spends watching TV or playing video games? Although some screen time can be educational, it’s easy to go overboard. Consider this guide to children and TV, including how to limit your child’s screen time.
Children and TV — the effects
Too much screen time has been linked to:
Children who watch more than two hours of TV a day are more likely to be overweight.
The more TV children watch, the more likely they are to resist going to bed and to have trouble falling asleep.
Children who watch excessive amounts of TV are more likely to bully, have attention problems, and show signs of depression or anxiety than children who don’t.
Impaired academic performance
Elementary students who have TVs in their bedrooms tend to perform worse on tests than
those who don’t.
Less time for play. Excessive screen time leaves less time for active, creative play.
How to limit screen time
Your child’s total daily screen time may be greater than you realize. Start monitoring it. In the meantime, you can take simple steps to reduce the amount of time your child spends watching TV, movies and videos or playing video or computer games:
Eliminate background TV
If the TV is turned on — even if it’s just in the background — it’s likely to draw your child’s attention. If you’re not actively watching a show, turn off the TV.
Keep TVs and computers out of the bedroom
Children who have TVs in their bedrooms watch more TV and videos than children who don’t. Monitor your child’s screen time and the Web sites he or she is visiting by keeping computers in a common area in your house.
Don’t eat in front of the TV
Allowing your child to eat or snack in front of the TV increases his or her screen time. The habit also encourages mindless munching, which can lead to weight gain.
Set school day rules
Most children have limited free time during the school week. Don’t let your child spend all of it in front of a screen.
Suggest other activities
Rather than relying on screen time for entertainment, help your child find other things to do. Consider classic activities, such as reading, playing a sport or trying a new board game.
Set a good example
Be a good role model. Limit your own screen time.
Become an active participant
When your child has screen time, make it as engaging as possible:
Plan what your child watches
Instead of flipping through channels, seek quality videos or use a program guide to select appropriate shows. When the program ends, turn off the TV.
Watch with your child
Whenever possible, watch programs together — and talk about what you see.
Choose video games that encourage physical activity
Better yet, make the games a family experience.
It may be difficult to start limiting your child’s screen time, especially if your child already has a TV in his or her bedroom or your family eats dinner in front of the TV. But by creating new household rules and steadily making small changes in your child’s routine, you can make a difference.on their list? Let your child make the decision whether to buy or not.
Regardless of what you say, more than likely your children will make the purchase even if the item is junk. That’s ok! This is a lesson your child must learn. Only when the initial thrill of the toy wears off, or when your child realizes that the other items on his/ her list were more important, will they begin to understand the value of their money.
These are only some of the possibilities you might want to look into. Regardless of what you can take from this article, adapt it so it fits into your family lifestyle.
Money management is a learned skill that comes from real experiences. It is very important that children learn the value of money and the role that it plays in our lives. Teach them how to make smart, educated buying decisions. Stress the importance of setting priorities and working to achieve that goal.
Once your child achieves one of his or her goals, they will understand what it takes to be successful. They will know how to budget their money and limit unnecessary spending in order to buy what they REALLY want or need.
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