It's no secret that we like to get out and about as much as possible. At home we like to spend time playing games, crafting or doing stuff in the garden. But I'd be lying if I said we didn't ever watch the TV. Television can be a great way for children to learn about the world, but it can easily dominate your free time if you let it.
Today's guest post has some useful tips for maintaining good viewing habits:
It is just about impossible to imagine the average child’s life without a television. Whether they are watching their favourite cartoon, a nature show or a film, the television is a prime source of entertainment and education. It is important that you encourage good viewing habits early on. This way, children will learn early how to make the most of their television viewing.
Make a schedule
In order to get the best out of their TV watching, take the time once a week as soon as programming is available to get your children to make a schedule of what they want to watch over the next seven days.
This is beneficial for two reasons. Firstly, it encourages kids to be selective about what they are going to watch rather than just plonking down in front of the TV and seeing what happens to be airing.
Secondly, it gives you the chance to supervise what they are watching. There is so much on the small screen that is unsuitable for kids and where you have control (in your home!), exercise it.
It is vital that you implement daily TV rationing for your children relative to their ages. This may sound very strict but discipline is so important. With digital tv there is now fantastic programming on offer, but in order to prevent the TV from taking over their lives – and yours – keep set times!
For children in playschool, keep TV time to one hour while, for young school-aged kids, two hours is probably enough.
Of course, it is impossible to watch every second that your kids are watching but try to avoid using the television as a babysitter. It’s great if you can watch an entire programme but if you can’t manage this (and if you are as busy as most parents you probably can’t), just drop in for a few minutes. It will give you a chance to relax and keep an eye on what your kids are watching.
Set an example
Be aware that your TV viewing habits will rub off on your kids. Turn it off during meals and when visitors arrive at your home. Also, be sure that babysitters, nannies and grandparents know what the TV rules are. Maybe when they’re being looked after, it is a good time to allow them an extra hour or so as a treat.
This is a featured guest post in association with BT.