Choosing Television Shows for Your Child

Children's television shows can be hit or miss. Some of them make you smile and think about the wonder of childhood. Some of them make you want to pull your hair out whenever you hear the main character speak. How careful do you need to be when deciding what your child views? Here are some helpful tips for selecting the shows your little one watches and learns from...

  • Avoid shows where the main character exhibits a lot of bad behavior. Chances are, your child is going to act somewhat like the character they admire most in the show. Make sure this is a character worth emulating. Are these characters teaching your child that dishonesty, tantrums, or violence are okay?
  • Avoid shows that fall far below their developmental level. Your child needs stimulation and entertainment from their tv shows, just as us adults do. Try to avoid shows that are for a much younger audience than your little one (unless your child is watching tv with younger siblings).
  • Avoid shows that may be frightening or inappropriate. Tv should not be creating more work for you as a parent. If your child views something they are not ready to view, you will be responsible for helping them understand, process, and deal with their new nightmares or inappropriate information.
  • Try watching with them the first time. If you are introducing a new tv show into your home, make sure you are aware of what content the show promotes. Is it going to teach your child about things they are ready to learn about? Watching tv with your little one can be a bonding experience, as well.
  • Try to limit screen time. Studies from the American Pediatrics Association show little evidence for the benefits of screen time before the age of 2 years. Unfortunately, the AAP also shows evidence for real behavioral/health problems that consistent tv time can bring a child under age 2.
  • Try to choose shows that inspire creativity and imagination. Children have the ability to be inspired to explore, create, imagine, question, dream and have fun. Tv shows that inspire these wonderful childlike experiences should be the first priority when your child sits down to watch television.

When a tv show is age appropriate, educational, inspiring, and full of behaviors you want modeled in your home, it can be a positive source of entertainment for your young child. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be aware of the shows your children are viewing because their little minds will learn from whatever they watch. If you are having trouble finding shows, here are some recommendations based on your children's ages and interests.

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Wednesday, 08 February 2023

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