Kids imitate what they see. When they see a character on TV that they like, they try to act, talk and be that character. If the character is inappropriate, your child will be inappropriate. As a consequence, parents should establish some TV rules for kids in order to prevent questionable behavior from happening.
There is no doubt most kids are TV dependent and they find it more fun and interesting than the playground. Children are simply hypnotized by what they see at TV. Even if there are many educational entertainment for kids, there are also programs and shows where they are exposed to drugs, violence, sex and swearing.
What follows are some TV rules for kids, as they are so easy to influence in a negative way.
- Establish limits from the very beginning
The earlier you set some TV rules for your kids, the better. As they grow, children can be controlled more difficult by their parents, because their personality becomes stronger and stronger. After a certain age, it is hard for parents to start controlling the choices and social interactions of their children in case they haven`t controlled them till then.
It is recommended to let your child watch TV for one or two hours a day. If you can`t do this, at least reflect upon the importance and influence of the TV for your child and take advantage of this influence for educational purposes.
- Keep the shows commercial free
Children want whatever is appealing, new and promoted by their favorite characters. There are lots of products and gadgets related to kid`s entertainment world that appear in TV commercials. The best way is to keep the programs and shows commercial free or to buy children`s DVDs. You can also opt for commercial free shows on PBS that also provide educational content.
- Let your kids watch shows for their age
Not all cartoons or kid`s shows are the same, as they are correspondent to their age. The little ones can watch “Olivia”, “Sesame Street” or “Barney & Friends”, while the older ones can go for “WorldGirl” or “Bill Bye the Science Guy”. Do not forget that kids imitate the characters they like, so you should carefully choose what they can watch.
- Schedule the viewing time, select programs and block inappropriate content
Parents can block negative content by using a V-chip, but also select programs and viewing times. Kids should know in advance that, for instance, when the cartoon ends, they have to go to bed. In order to feel they have a certain control, give them the remote and let them turn off the TV.
- Make an agreement
Watching TV can also be approached as a give and take process. Your kids can watch TV after they have done a task such as eating or doing their homework. They will see it as a reward and they will accept their daily routine easier.
- Transform watching TV into an interactive family experience
You can watch TV with your children, discuss what you see, invent stories based on you are watching and play characters. This family experience can be exciting and you will feel like a child again.
- Hide the remote
When TV rules for kids do not work, you can just hide the remote or put it in an unreachable place.