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Manage & limit kids’ tv time

Everything in moderation seems to be a good motto for, well, just about everything. When it comes to children watching television, there are several ways to discourage them from becoming couch potatoes:

  1. Keep other fun activities, such as puzzles, board games, books and art supplies in the same room as the television, to remind kids of their alternatives to television-viewing.
  2. Treat t.v. as a privilege, something kids have to earn. Only allow television-viewing after their chores and homework are finished.
  3. Do not allow children to have televisions in their bedrooms (We actually took the t.v. out of our room; it?s so much nicer to nod off peacefully while engrossed in a book than to a blaring television- and we happen to be setting a good example for the kids!).
  4. Limit your own television viewing time, thereby setting a good example.
  5. Use t.v. screening tools, which are available in most new television sets. These tools measure and rate any violent content in a television program.
  6. Develop a family television schedule and post it in a convenient spot that?s easy to see. Include which programs can be watched and at which times. (Be sure to turn off the tube when the pre-scheduled program is over!).
  7. Preview and read up on the television programs which are available. This will allow you to pick and choose which shows are appropriate for your children.
  8. Always have entertaining or interesting alternatives to watching t.v.. If you?re planning to spend a day at home with the kids, think up some alternative activities for them to do, or to do together.

Take turns reading to each other, look for fun arts and crafts activities in magazines like Family Fun and on websites such as Michael?s.com. Keep adding to your collection of board games (look for weekly sales, such as ?buy one, get one free? sales at Toys ?r Us) and let the kids pick which game to play!

Of course, playing outside is always a fun thing to do. Go for a bike ride, a walk or join your child in his favorite game or sport. Family Fun magazine is also a great resource for unique game ideas.


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