Dr. Michael Roizen answered:Follow these strategies for limiting your child's time in front of the TV, no matter how much they love the dude with the square pants:
Find out more about this book: YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grad...Follow these strategies for limiting your child's time in front of the TV, no matter how much they love the dude with the square pants: After they turn two, you should limit them to one to two hours a day of screen time (under two, they... More
- After they turn two, you should limit them to one to two hours a day of screen time (under two, they don't need to be watching much at all, if any; as they get older, screen time includes time spent on computers and video games, as well), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and researchers looking closely at baby brain development. And prescreen what they're watching to make sure it's a quality choice. Shows that encourage active participation (like calling out answers or dancing along) rather than passive viewing are best. If you want them to emulate bratty behavior, then make sure they watch the average sitcom. Funny, yes. But monkey see, monkey do applies here.
- No TV in your youngster's room. TVs in the bedroom are associated with a higher incidence of childhood obesity, sleep problems, and behavior problems. In general, eating in front of the TV in any room of the house should be kept to a minimum, because it leads to mindless snacking and lots of extra calories.
- Videos and DVDs may be a better choice for kids than TV, because you can vet the content beforehand. Some of our recommendations: Rabbit Ears Productions' series of classic children's stories for preschoolers, Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, and other shows that encourage interaction. Videos are also a plus because they don't expose Junior to fast-food commercials; of course, you can always record a show and fast-forward through the commercials. A nonprofit organization called Parents' Choice Foundation regularly reviews videos, programming, magazines, and books for children.
- Limit the time you have the TV on in the background. That's a habit your child is going to copy -- not to mention the fact that you probably don't want your child learning language skills from TV people. TV can be a distraction, preventing your child from tuning into your language. Also, beware of the adult content on shows you may have on for yourself (soaps, news, The Dr. Oz Show, and so on), because children will absorb and repeat what they see.
If your child just can’t get enough screen time, try this approach:
- Plan ahead: Choose programming that you’re going to watch, then turn the TV off before the next one begins; pick out one DVD where you know the exact running time; or choose one video game and set time limits before the game begins.
- Watch together: You can help your child understand and process what he’s seeing and hearing on the TV, games, and Internet.
- Hide the remote: It’s much harder to flip through channels mindlessly without one.
- Minimize the sets: Allow only one or two TVs in the house, and never in a child’s bedroom or in the kitchen!
From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.Find out more about this book: Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy ChildrenIf your child just can’t get enough screen time, try this approach: Plan ahead: Choose programming that you’re going to watch, then turn the TV off before the next one begins; pick out one DVD where you know the exact... More