Are Your Kids Watching Too Much TV?

Too much tv is a bad thing for your kidLimiting television time with your little ones can prove to be a bit more difficult than you expected. A television becomes a wonderful distraction device for your children while you either finally accomplish tasks around the house or to just get a moment to yourself.

Not only does it become addicting to them, but you can get addicted to the freedom a TV can bring. But studies have shown that too much TV is not good for your little one.

kids watching too much tv

Too much TV is a bad thing for your kid

Too much TV has been linked with child obesity, ADHD and cognitive as well as language development delays.

The first two years of your child’s life is critical as their brains are quickly developing at a fast rate during this time. This is when your child is creating the building blocks of learning.

When they are watching too much TV, this is distracting from how a child learns best: by exploring, playing and interacting with their parents. With this type of play, a child is learning to be physical and learning social development skills.

Television can get in the way of imaginative play. Imaginative play or pretend play is vital to young ones. This is when children learn about their emotional and social skills by taking turns and creative problem solving.

By pretending to be another person, they are learning how to put themselves in other people shoes which gives them a beginning understanding of empathy towards others. Imaginative play also helps improve language skills.

They learn to practice their speech skills when they are talking to their good educational toys or even to their imaginary best friend. It shows them the power of language and how to effectively communicate.

Children who watch more than 4 hours of television each day are more likely to be overweight. They can also be exposed to violence at an early age.

This can be very scary to a child who may now view the world as unsafe and unpredictable. They will start to worry that bad things may happen to them which is nothing they should worry about at this young age. As parents, our job is to protect them. They also will get expose to risky behavior which they may try to imitate.

So how much is too much TV for your child?

While some can easily cut the cord, so to speak, it can be quite difficult for others to completely cut out television. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends only 1-2 hours a day.

There are some professionals who would say that no TV is in their best interest before the age of two. While this may be realistic for some, it may not be realistic for others.

What is really important is to make sure that you are not only limiting the TV but you are also monitoring what they are watching. Stick to shows that are educational and where kids can learn positive lessons from.

kids who watch too much tvWhat can you do to keep the little ones occupied without the TV?

Lots of things! Here are some great ways and tips to break the TV habit.

Make a Boredom Buster Jar. All you need is an old jar and some Popsicle sticks. Label each stick with an activity. You can even color coordinate them based on what type of activity such as quiet time activities, outside activities, activities that involve food or crafty activities.

The rule is when your child needs something to do they can pull a Popsicle stick and they have to do what is listed on the stick. All finished with the activity? Have them choose a new stick!

Pretend Box. You can buy all sorts of cheap things at a thrift store and keep them all in a large plastic bin. This bin can be filled with clothes for dress up, maybe some cooking utensils or accessories.

This will spark you child’s imagination to come up with something creative to play. It is also fun to take your child shopping with you so that they can pick out things they can put in their pretend box. Give them a budget, like $5 and this will also help them learn about money.

Blue painters tape. Blue painters tape is not just for painting walls but to do fun kids activities with as well!

What is so great about this tape is that you can use it almost everywhere and not have to worry about it ruining your things. Create a roadway on the floor of your house. You can also create shapes on the floor or hop, skip, jump boxes.

Card Board Box City. Start collecting old cardboard boxes. There is so much you can do with cardboard boxes, your kids will be occupied for hours!

They can build houses, paint or draw in them. They can create virtually anything with a few cardboard boxes. You can put them all outside and have a box painting party.

Establish Ground Rules. When it comes to TV watching in your family to help monitor it, set some family ground rules.

These rules can be limiting their time watching TV such as only an hour after school or after they complete their homework and chores. Make sure you are monitoring what they are watching and use those parent control locks on your TV if you have it.

Is you child is watching too much TV instead of playing good learning toys? Share us some of your thoughts!

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