Monitoring children’s TV viewing is becoming more important than ever. Children are like sponges, they soak up everything they see, and they are very sensitive to stimuli. Movies and TV shows are becoming more and more vulgar by the day, and it’s vital that parents selectively filter what children see in the media that they consume. We need to think of what our children watch in a similar way we think about what they eat. If we want them to be mentally healthy, we need to ensure they are taking in quality content, or at the very least, that we don’t allow them to eat garbage. Monitoring children’s media time is never easy, but we’re here to help. Here are some tips to get you started:
#1 Start as early as possible.
As early as two years old a child can start to have a concept of right from wrong. Make sure that from the moment your kids start watching, you have a grasp on what is appropriate for them each step of the way as they grow. Instilling values from a young age will make all the difference as your child becomes exposed to more and more media as they grow up.
#2 No means “NO”.
One of the hardest parts of parenting is telling your child “no.” When it comes to media though, limits are essential. Being firm with setting ground rules with TV and movie intake can be taxing and challenging but will reap rewards down the road.
#3 Watch with your child.
Set aside time to watch movies and television with your child. This will be one of the biggest tools to understanding what kind of content your child is being exposed to. Even though you may be extremely busy with work and household obligations, this will help you establish trust and respect in your relationship.
#4. Talk with your child about TV and movies.
In addition to watching with your child, communicate directly with them about what they’re watching with their friends and on their own. Make sure to have an honest discussions about what they think is appropriate and how they react to what they see on screen.