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Show and Tell
Family TV Time

Child experts agree that too much television can be bad for children. But don’t throw out the good with the bad by banning TV. Follow the simple tips below when you "take charge of TV," according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Helping the Preschool Child.

  • Be choosy.
    Parents' Choice reviews children's media on TV and home video to help you make the best choices for your children's viewing. Consider your children's ages and choose programs that present the types of things you'd like them to see, learn, and imitate. For example, you may choose to watch:
    • Sesame Street to provide prereading and premath skills;
    • Arthur to help children understand friendship and social skills; and
    • Super WHY to excite children's curiosity about the world around them.

  • Limit TV time.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children, ages 2 through 6, watch no more than 1 or 2 hours of TV per day. For children younger than 2, these experts believe TV can interfere with exploration, play, and social interactions.

  • Use the off switch.
    When the program you have chosen to watch ends, turn off the TV and do an activity or play a game. Since you're still doing something together, your child will be happy to walk away from the TV.

  • Make sure the TV isn't a babysitter.
    Balance good TV programs with other enjoyable activities, especially outdoor time, reading, and family games.

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Updated on 4/5/2013