My children watch far too much television. When I try to get them to read or play outside, they have no interest. I’ve taken the TV sets from their bedrooms, but they find a way to get to watch their favourite shows anyway. What should I do to keep them away from the TV?
TV watching is not bad if it is monitored in the time and content of the shows.
If there are a set of acceptable shows that your children want to watch, there is no harm in letting them do so. But in scenarios where kids have become TV addicts, certain things need to be taken care of:
1. Make a clear set of rules regarding the time and the serials your kids watch. Set a reasonable limit for time or the number of watched shows. Get your kids to agree on the same and then make sure they stick to the same. When they are done with their shows, turn off the TV and if you have the option, child- lock it.
2.You could put them on interesting and educational films once in while such as ‘Sound of Music’, ‘Flubber’, ‘Jurassic Park’, etc. Also include regional films for children. It would increase their knowledge and curiosity.
3.Find out other alternatives of engaging them, such as doing an interesting and fun activity together. It could be making puppets and putting up a show by creating a script and practising voice modulations.
4. You need to identify what is it that they like doing besides watching TV. You need to experiment to know that. You could think of craft ideas like origami, clay modelling, paper mache, etc. Maybe they’ll enjoy swimming, going for a run, playing with friends, going for a trek or some adventure sport.
5. Try getting more children (cousins, friends, and neighbours) involved in these kinds of activities. That would make it more interesting. You could even organise a cartoon making camp where they can create their own cartoons, either on paper or on the computer.
6. Many times, watching TV seems to be the only entertainment option for kids and adults alike. That is why we need to generate more options for enjoying and entertaining ourselves.
7. This would apply to you too, if TV is your major source of entertainment. You can’t do what you ask your children to avoid. So even you would need to reduce your TV watching and look out for other creative and mentally and physically stimulating options.
8. Maybe all of you can have a family time in which you plan what to do each day, like one day could be a dance day, then a music day, or a poetry day and so on. Once you begin to think outside the box, ideas for creative fun will start coming to you. Maybe no one around you does such things but so what! You can begin and who knows, others will follow.
9. Find out other entertainment options in and around your city, besides hotels and movies. Look out for dance workshops, karaoke set ups, martial arts, music clubs, activity groups, etc. Cultivating a hobby is the best thing you can do for yourself as well as your children. It is a means of self expression and satisfaction. Encourage the development of a hobby in your children. It could be anything from maintaining a scrap book to cooking; whatever it is that keeps them occupied, active and happy.
10. Avoid severe steps like disconnecting the cable service or rebuking. They may actually make things worse. Rather work towards achieving a collective understanding about the TV watching rules. Explain to them why you’re setting these rules. Allow them the stipulated time and then switch off the TV.
11. Also don’t offer snacks or food while the kids are watching TV. Elders of the house must also take care of the same.
SETTING CLEAR TV TIME AND MENU FOR FAMILY
WATCHING EDUCATIONAL MOVIES
ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF LIKED ENTERTAINMENT
CREATING AND FINDING FUN EVENTS
AVOIDING HARSH STEPS AND MEASURES: CREATING REASONING AND RESPONSIBLE ATMOSPHERE
AVOIDING SNACKING DURING TV TIME