Pediatrician, researcher, M.D., doesn’t let her four children watch any television during the school week. As a result, they focus more on reading, homework, and playing the piano. On weekends, they can watch limited amounts.
Researcher’s parents had the same policy when she was a child. “I thought that was horrible as a child, but now that I’m a parent I see that idea has merit,” researcher said. “My kids do think I’m mean, but that’s OK. I tell them it’s not my job to be nice.”
She doesn’t think all parents have to use this approach, but researcher and other experts strongly advise limiting the time your children watch television and to monitor the quality of the shows they do view.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television until the age of 2 and then only one hour a day for young children. It suggests no more than two hours for older children.
Why is television not a good habit?
Res4earcher advises her patients to do things in moderation. When her children were younger, she took a year off from her practice to stay home with them. She let them watch some television, especially when she needed a break.
The point is not to leave the television on all the time. It should not be used as a babysitter.
“If they get used to sitting in front of a TV or computer that contributes to obesity,” researcher said. “As a parent, you’re trying to encourage your children to have healthy habits.”
And consider the sensibilities of your child. Some parents think Disney movies are harmless, but researcher cautions that Disney flicks always have a dark character that may frighten some children.
“A lot of children will breeze right by it, but a subset of children may have sleep disturbances,” researcher said.
But don’t go overboard. Don’t tell your kids they can never watch TV. That’s will make television viewing all the more enticing.