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How to Limit Television Watching for Children

Television watching may or may not be inherently evil. If you attempt to attack television programming, there will always be someone in the room who will cite that their kids learned their alphabet or counting from Sesame Street. However, there is evidence that too much television watching may be harmful. It is very easy to turn on the television in the morning to get the weather report, then to find that the thing is left on all day until bedtime. Do not forget that the thing has an "off" button.Most parents will want to limit television watching because it is a waste of time. Even without resorting to studies, most observant parents will see an undesirable influence on their children. It robs parents and children of the time they could use interacting with each other and doing things together. It steals away the free time a child could use reading or exercising their imaginations in free play. It makes it harder to get chores done when the excuse is always "after this show is over" or "wait until a commercial." A parent may try to play a game with their child or read them a book, but with the TV going one quickly finds it to be competition for the child's attention. That can be frustrating for the parent. To limit television the first step is to have some idea of what kind of activities will replace it. Homework time, reading time, and chore time are great as television replacements. Even if a child has little or no assigned school homework, the parent should save a child's graded school papers and go over them with their child on a regular basis. Flash cards can be purchased or custom made to reinforce concepts a child is learning in school. There never seems to be enough time for reading, so scheduling reading time is a must. Every family also needs a chore time, even if it is an excuse to have the television off while the children play and the parent washes the dishes. As children get older they can be enlisted to do more. Always be looking for child-suitable tasks that a child can assist a parent with. Outside play time is another great thing to have on a child's daily schedule. These days children cannot always be left to their own devices outdoors. Many kids and their parents can benefit from the fresh air and exercise outdoors. Have balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, bubble soap, a sandbox, and as you can afford it, other outdoor play equipment. Sometimes you can take the children to a community playground. Be flexible and enjoy more time outdoors when the whether is nice and there is plenty to do. Always get the child to help with picking up sticks or other things that need to be removed from the yard before mowing. Plant a little garden or a big one, and teach the children how to water and weed it.By being busy and having a schedule with many other worthy things to be doing, there will be little time left for television. Also, sometimes a parent can just say that they are tired of the noise the TV is making in the house all day and turn it off for a spell. It is healthy for children to sometimes find something to do on their own with free play time.

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