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How to restrict and utilise TV for your children’s benefit
Though the television set has many disadvantages, if used properly, it can be utilised for the benefit of children and the entire family as a whole. Read this article to know some basic effective tips to know how to control television watching at home.
Whatever may be the disadvantages of television, we need it to stay in touch with reality. In the case of children, the parents can keep a few restrictions in what they can watch and the timings in which they can watch their desired programmes. This way the television set can be used for the benefit of the children. It is quite impossible to completely make them stay away from the idiot box. Nowadays television has become a 24 hour matter which includes extremely informative programmes such as mythological ones, programmes based on arts and craft, dance shows, animal shows etc. Out of all the media channels, television is the one which has the most pervasive influence on the children.
Tips on how to utilise TV for your child's benefit
1. Watch the same programmes as your child does. If your child has been doing something unusual and you feel that it has been learnt from some programme on the TV, this can be made sure if you spend some time to understand the essence of the programmes that your child watches. In this way, you can understand why he behaves in a certain way.
2. Children accept rules when they come from the school management. The important thing is to instil in a small child the difference between reality as it happens in real life and fiction as seen on TV.
3. Serials on mythology are very useful especially in these times when the parents may not have the time or knowledge for such prolonged story-telling sessions. Children are quick learners. They learn languages also at a very great pace from a young age. Nowadays there are many programmes on TV which depict the stories of Hindu mythology such as Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The same applies for the stories of other religions too.
4. An older child can be initiated into a discussion about gender issues, politics or even rights, after you have watched a programme on such categories together. Don't be hesitant to question his opinion if you feel that he has been misled on a certain subject. The best way to know a child's mind and feelings is through having a good chat with them. Once grown up, children are usually not very open about such things with their parents unless they have the confidence to speak about sensitive issues. So it is very necessary that the parents keep extra quality time which is dedicated for the kids alone.
5. When the whole family watches TV together, the physical proximity of the family gives comfort to a child. Also, you are close at hand to interpret information and answer questions.
6. While an overdose of the 'wrong' programme can dull the mind, a programme on art and craft can teach the child the basics of drawing. Even cartoons like 'Bob the Builder' have inspired many pre-schoolers to develop a taste for tools and building concepts early in life.
7. When a child watches a programme on nature, he gets to see things he may never see in real life. Children love to learn things practically rather than theoretically. This is where such programmes come to good use. It will help him to connect to what he is studying at school.
Where should you watch TV inside the home - It is best that your child watches TV at the comfort of one's own home. Make sure that the child doesn't go to a friend's house just to watch TV. Also, always keep the TV in the living room itself. Avoid putting it in the bedroom.
How to watch TV - Always keep moderation. The control sticks are in the parent's hands and they have to make the time limits clear to the child even before he starts watching a programme. A child below 2 should not watch TV at all. There are parents who force the child to start watching TV at such a young age itself so that they can finish off all the house work during that time. This becomes a pain later on because the child will start getting addicted to TV and it will be very tough to restrict them afterwards. Designate one day in a week as a family-movie day. Take turns so that everyone gets a chance to watch what they like.
Get good quality equipments such as TV and DVD player. Such things are very important as bad quality ones spoil the eyesight very fast. Also, always make sure that the child sits in a good position while watching TV. Always sit in front of it with an eye level. Sitting at an angle strains the eyes. Lying down also strains the eyes as well as the neck. Reclining on the couch while watching TV is also very harmful as it leads to slip-disc, bad eyesight and headache.
It is advisable not to eat food in front of the TV. Try to minimise the number of TV meals. Also, it is best if meal times are kept only as family time. Basically this is the only time in the day when every member of the family comes together and sits at the dining table. So it should be used to discuss family matters and spend quality time. In order to do this, the TV must definitely be switched off as it poses as a distraction.
Instant relief after watching TV - If your eyes are showing signs of irritation (burning, itching or watering), rub your palms together and place them over your eyes and count to 20. This will surely give at least an instant relief.
When should you watch TV - The best time to watch TV is in the afternoon or the late evening. Avoid watching it in the morning. At night too, switch it off by 10. Another important point is not to watch TV when you have guests at home. Sometimes, the guests may feel offended and insulted as you are giving more importance to the TV than to them. Don't keep children in front of the TV to make your work easier, even when his friends come home.
What should you watch on TV - Don't get a cable connection till the child is ready for it. You could take DVD's from which the child can learn something good. If you are using cable connection, choose good channels for the child to watch. There are child lock systems nowadays in every television set. Parents should use this option and keep some channels which are harmful to the children in 'lock' mode. Watch a programme for 2 to 3 days with your child to see whether it has any objectionable scenes. Instead of banning your child from TV, give them something better to watch instead.
Who should watch what on TV - The person who has the controls over the remote has the right to turn to whatever channel they wish. Everyone in the family should be given a chance to watch their desired programme. To make sure you teen child doesn't suffer from misinformation about sex, use accidental exposure as an opportunity to educate your children. If they don't learn the right thing from you, they still have options to gain knowledge form outside but there is no surety that outside information will be correct one. If you and your husband wish to watch an 'adult' movie, put your children to sleep so that they don't walk into something you would not want them to see. If you are watching a movie with your child and it turns out to have a message that you disapprove, voice it out. Learn to say 'No' to your children where it is needed. Don't hesitate to ban them from anything that you don't want your child to watch. You may not be around always to stop your child from watching something, but it helps if you establish some ground roles.
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|Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman 18 Jul 2011||Member Level: Gold Points : 1|
|You are correct! During the study hours of children, the house members ahould also avoid television watching. Instead asking them to study in one room and watching TV in another rooms means making the children diverting of their minds. Similarly the childrens should not be permit to see TV/Compuer in their rooms - in the name of modernisation/freedom etc.,|
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