I found a great article on www.kidshealth.org about establishing great guidelines for how much “plugged in” time your children should have. Here are a few nuggets I took away from it:
- Limit the amount of hours watched. You can do this by making board games, puzzles, books, etc. readily available in the SAME area that the TV is located in.
- Teach your children that television is a privilege – not a right.
- Don’t eat or do homework while watching.
- Choose a day (or two!) during the week to ban TV entirely. Plan family and/or outdoor activities on this day to deviate from it’s absence.
- Plan which shows will be watched and limit viewing to only those shows – no channel surfing!
- Find out what other families have set up in regard to monitoring television!
Regarding video/computer games:
- Pay attention to the ratings given to individual games – you can even try them out before you let your kids play.
- Talk with your child about how the game affects them – especially if you notice a difference after he/she plays it!
Regarding internet safety:
- Educate yourself on how to use the computer’s parental controls and make sure your child is protected anywhere they may use a computer.
- Avoid allowing computers in a child’s bedroom.
- Teach healthy computer etiquette (never sharing personal information or revealing location)
- Bookmark your child’s favorite sites. This will eliminate the need for your child to surf the web and will reduce accidental exposure to inappropriate content.
If you want to read the article in it’s entirety, click on the link below: