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How To Be Smart About Your Kids and TV

By: Krystle Crossman

Watching TV can be a fun and educational experience for your children if you are aware of how much time they are spending in front of the television set. Here are some tips from PBS on how to get the most out of television time:

– When you want to watch something, turn the television on. When that show is over, turn it off. It is best not to keep the television on in the background if you are not actively watching it.

– Remember to get social time in before turning on the television. Play a board game as a family or sit and have dinner together. Social interaction with real people should always come first. Even while you are watching TV, engage in a conversation with your child about what you are watching and how they feel about it.

– Be active while you are watching shows with your child. Ask them about what they are seeing and what they think is going to happen next. Encourage them to be curious and to voice that curiosity while they are watching. This will help them to make the most of their time in front of the screen instead of just sitting and zoning out.

– Keep track of how your child reacts to certain TV programs. If they tend to get riled up or act out violent behavior black their access to that specific show. If they are scared of a show give them something that will ease their fear such as their favorite pillow or stuffed animal. If they identify with a character and feel that they want to do something that character does such as an experiment or camping out in the backyard, try to do it!

– Help your child to recognize when it is time to turn the television off and that there are many good reasons why you should do so instead of watching an endless stream of shows.

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