Like it or not, television is inescapable. The key is learning how to use it wisely especially when it comes to our impressionable young children. Television is best used when it’s a learning tool. Talk about the message the show is trying to send – what are they learning? Letters? Counting? Problem Solving? Make sure it offers value. In addition to monitoring what they watch we have a helpful Guide to Monitoring Children’s Television Programming.
PreNegotiate TV Viewing Lengths
It’s much easier to say you’re 30 minutes starts now or your viewing time is up at 8 – versus negotiating midway through viewing. AAP guidelines recommend that children only watch one to two hours of TV per day. Another alternative is to limit TV to 1 hour on school nights and 2-3hrs a day on weekends.
Set Hard Limits on When it is NOT Okay to Watch TV
Some good examples of when it’s not okay:
- During Meals
- When Parents Aren’t Around
- When Grades are Poor
Use an Instant Streaming Service
Growing up (before instant streaming) the house rule was to have all our homework done before we could watch TV. My parents made that rule with the best of intentions – that we would get our homework done before becoming distracted by TV. But the motivation worked a little too well – we ended up rushing through our homework in order to watch our shows. By choosing TV shows that can be instantly streamed by services like Hulu, you’re mitigating the amount of influence TV has on your kids schedule.
Keep A Short List of Acceptable Shows
In addition to pre-negotiating your TV viewing lengths, times and limits you should also have a list of acceptable shows. We just added a new show to our list: DOOZERS. The animated preschool series focuses on four Doozers kids. They’re a team of best friends dubbed “the Pod Squad,” Spike, Molly Bolt, Flex, and Daisy Wheel. The Pod Squad loves to “DESIGN, CREATE, and INNOVATE.”
These Doozers are DOERS – they put their ideas into action! Our preschoolers follow along to help the team as they take on challenges like designing their very own Doozer Derby racing car, fly in a jetpack, or build a giant life-sized gingerbread house?!
The Show is the first Hulu Original for kids and comes from The Jim Henson Company (Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid) and DHX Media – the creators of another of our favorite shows SuperWHY.
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This post brought to you by our friends at Hulu. All opinions remain my own.