Kids Television Guide
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Kids Television Guide

The quantity and quality of the television programs that kids watch today can have just as much an impact on their health as what they eat. Just as a balanced food diet is important, so is a balanced T.V. diet.

The quantity and quality of the television programs that kids watch today can have just as much an impact on their health as what they eat. Just as a balanced food diet is important, so is a balanced T.V. diet. According to expert reports, the average child wastes (watches) three hours of television per day.

Although parents may understand that this is an electronically advanced era and that technology is inevitable and “virtually” unavoidable, they should also take the time to understand the content of the television programs children are feeding their minds with.

Characteristics of quality T.V. programs for kids:

  • Developmentally geared programs that take into consideration brain and mind growth
  • Shows with positive actors and characters that teach wholesome values
  • Educational programs
  • Shows that cause kids to ask questions out of pure desire to learn more
  • Programs that motivate reading
  • Encourage safe exercise, friendly sports, and playing outside in the fresh air with supervision

In order to monitor and take control of how much and what your children watch on television, parents should create television rules. Children are more likely to obey a set of rules if they are discussed openly. Allow your child have some input on their T.V. watching guidelines, and explain why these rules are being put in place. Reward your child for obeying these television rules.

Suggested television rules or guidelines for children:

  • Ensure that homework and chores are completed before allowing your child to watch television
  • Allow your child to watch one television show, then turn the T.V. off, and have your child do something else fun or productive
  • Never allow watching television to replace active play
  • Do not allow your young child to keep a T.V. in their room
  • Preview or at least research the T.V. programs that your children currently watch or want to watch

To gather a more accurate picture of what your children are watching, Common Sense Media publishes detailed ratings about various shows, movies, video games, etc. It also outlines more advice on a healthy T.V. diet for kids.

Commercialized Health Risks

As with diet and snacks, television watching for kids is perfectly fine as long as content, moderation, and quality are considered. One of the most harmful aspects about television today is not only the negative programs themselves, but also the commercials your children will view in-between shows.

Junk food ads promote sugary, salty, and blatantly unhealthy drinks and snacks. Colorful and animated characters, and even sports and “cool” media celebrities encourage kids to consume unhealthy products in some commercials. As a seemingly indirect result, the more your child watches television, the greater his chance of battling obesity, diabetes, and immune deficiencies. Children should understand that what is popular is not always good for their bodies and minds.

In today’s world of supercharged television shows, and the commercials wrapped around them, parents must remain observant of all content that their children have the potential to be exposed to. Not only is their mental and physical well-being at risk, but also the habits they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

SOURCES:

http://www.aap.org/

http://www.ksmq.org/

http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/index.dtl

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/

http://www.commercialalert.org/

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