Do Your Kids Love TV A Little Too Much?
Flickr Available At: Eje Gustafson
Take five minutes to close your eyes and think back to your own dim, distant and possibly TV less childhood. What do you picture? Bike rides on sunny days? Building a snowman in the yard? Playing endless games with your dolls and teddies? We don’t remember shows we watched yet all kids seem to want to do is sit in front of a screen.
Let Them Watch A Movie
While, in theory, it doesn’t seem like a better idea, unlike TV where it’ll roll one program after another, a movie has a definite ending. Typically, most films last for around two hours, with kid’s movies being even shorter so once the credits have rolled there’s nothing to watch, so the chances are they’ll go off and play. Check out kids movies on apps like Movie Box. Loom for child-friendly recommendations as well as running times if you’re not in the mood to sit through Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets yet again! Encourage kids to act out favorite scenes, dress up in costume or read the book that the movie’s based on. Bear in mind if your seven-year-old daughter’s chosen The BFG she’s going to need help as it’s relatively long and contains a few nonsense words.
Go Screen Free
Make a pledge as a family to unplug yourselves, yes that means you too, from gadgets for one week only and see how many other activities you can fit in, instead. Off the top of our heads, we can think of drawing, painting, making puppets, putting on a play, practicing a musical instrument, going for a walk, building a fort but there are many more things out there that don’t involve technology. Why not grab a recipe book? It’s probably been awhile since you’ve used an offline book so it’ll make a nice change. Get the kids baking while sharing stories of your own low-tech childhood. If kids are struggling, get them out the house. Why not take them to a museum or the zoo? Take along an encyclopedia and test everyone’s zoological knowledge, don’t get too confident though it’s not easy without the internet at your fingertips!
Set A Limit
While short spells are okay, kids shouldn’t spend more than two hours per day in front of the TV. Try to avoid watching TV last thing before bed, kids brains need time to wind down, and TV can be very stimulating and not before school either because they’re bound to lose track of time. Let them choose if they want to watch the full two hours, or break the time into segments so they can see all the shows they want to watch. Encourage children to finish any chores and do their homework before settling down to watch cartoons. Try to avoid TV based arguments, the more you say no, the more they’ll try to push the boundaries. If your child keeps breaking the rules let them watch as much TV as they want one night even if it means staying up late. We guarantee that when they’ve realized how much time they’ve wasted, or how sleepy they are the next day they’ll change their viewing habits.
Flickr Available At: Randen Pederson