With some leisure time just around the corner, we have to keep in mind how much TV our children watch and what it is they are watching. Even if you have been careful to help your child avoid developing bad TV habits, it is possible that these habits can sneak up rather quickly. It's not too late if the bad habits have already occurred. You just need to be ready to take control of the situation and break those bad habits. Follow the steps below to start breaking your kid's bad TV habits one at a time.
Make the TV hard to get to and hard to use if you feel your child is watching too much TV. This may involve taking the TV out of your child's room. Place the family TV in an armoire that allows you to close the doors so the TV cannot be seen when it's not in use.
Limit the TV to a maximum of two hours a day for children over two years old and no TV at all for children under the age of two. This doesn't mean that you have to allow the two hours each day. Less TV is better.
Be a good example for your child on how much TV you watch. The best way to break your child's bad TV habits is by leading by example. Show them that you don't need to watch TV to have fun and neither do they.
Watch TV with your children. This is the best way to make sure that they are watching programs that are appropriate for their ages and maturity levels. TV programs can also be a way that you can have conversations and other interactions with your kid regarding issues addressed in the TV program.
Have conversations with your child if they want to watch shows that you feel are inappropriate. Ask your child to explain to you why they want to watch a show that you feel isn't good for them. Explain to them why you feel the show is inappropriate. Make it clear that you are firm about not allowing them to watch the program.
Look for family activities that can replace the TV. Board games, outdoor activities, family visits and outings will not only steer your child’s interest away from the TV but will also build family memories and communication.
The TV is not the baby sitter! If you allow your child to watch a TV show or movie, make sure that it serves a purpose other than keeping your child busy or entertained.