Posted by: coachingparents | November 9, 2007

Too Much Television?

Everyone has seen the public service announcements where a drug addict or a crime boss is sitting in the living room and the parent says politely “Sorry, I am going to have to block you.  You are not good for the kids.”  Most parents already understand the difference between adult and child friendly programming.
Many parent wrestle with a different issue:  How much is too much television?  Even with the best programs geared toward children, children can many times miss out on fundamental development by sitting in front of the television for hours at a time. 

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS released the study, “Children, Adolescents, and Television,” that suggests the following recommendations for parents:

  • Limit children’s total media time (with entertainment  media) to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day.  
  • Remove television sets from children’s bedrooms.  
  • Discourage television viewing for children younger  than 2 years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote  proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading  together.
  • Monitor the shows children and adolescents are  viewing. Most programs should be informational, educational, and nonviolent.  
  • View television programs along with children, and  discuss the content. Two recent surveys involving a total of nearly 1500  parents found that less than half of parents reported always watching  television with their children.
  • Use controversial programming as a stepping-off point  to initiate discussions about family values, violence, sex and sexuality, and  drugs.
  • Use the videocassette recorder wisely to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children.
  • Support efforts to establish comprehensive  media-education programs in schools.
  • Encourage alternative entertainment for children,  including reading, athletics, hobbies, and creative play.

Article suggested by Claire Marie Beery.  Claire is an ACPI Trainer for the HeartWise Parenting for the Early Years niche.  You can reach Claire at


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