They say you can never have enough of a good thing but that’s not really the case is it? Most children like watching television but what if they become a telly addict? How do you deal with the problem and what are the dangers that can occur if you don’t do anything?
Children should have a variety of ways in which they entertain themselves. They should be reading books, playing with their toys and out in the park playing with their games. All healthy pastimes that will help your child but what if they’re not doing that so much and are instead glued to the latest episode of ‘Peppa Pig’, if that’s the case it’s time to take action. You need to show them that life does not revolve around watching television.
Children who watch too much television have disrupted sleep patterns, do less well in school, and have an increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. For more information on these issues, check out the parenting community over at quib.ly for help and advice. There’s no point in just banning them from watching television because there are plenty of programmes that can educate and entertain your child. You need to have evidence first before you decide what action to take. Keep a log for a week and discover just how much television they are actually watching. Once you have the evidence in hand then you can talk to your child and explain to them that they are watching too much television and will be regulated from now on. They won’t be happy about it but you need to stick to your guns.
So what do you do next? Well get the TV guide out and make a list of the shows that your child likes most. They go to the top of the list so that way even though your child has to cut down the amount of television they watch, at least they continue to watch their favourite shows. Also consider allowing a time limit of a couple of hours a day (less on school nights)
Tell your child that the TV can only be switched on if you’re actually going to watch it. Don’t keep the television switched on and allow it to just become background noise. That will only distract your child and before long they will be watching it again.
Does your child really need to have a television in their bedroom? It gets in the way of them doing their homework and reduces the amount of time the whole family can spend watching a television programme.
Provide a range of alternative activities and encourage them to play board games, read books or go out in the garden. Go out on outings together or encourage outdoor and sporting activities. Children should be out exploring the world not watching television all the time.
Make this new television policy something that is followed by all of the family. Cut down the number of hours of television that the rest of the family watch, that way your child won’t feel they’re being victimised.
Watching television too much isn’t healthy for your child, you need to discuss the matter with them and show them exactly why it is capable of causing problems. By doing so you’ll really be helping your child in their development.