PEM: Healthy Viewing Choices for Kids

Good day, everyone.  Yes, I know, Monday has a bad rap simply because it gets the questionable honor of being the first day of most folks’ work week. (Mine, too.) But hey, we are here to tell about it and make the best of it.
I’ll start with this:
A positive TV image in my book anyday–Novak Djokovic (my 2nd favorite player) beats my #1 tennis player (and the world’s too), Rafa Nadal, in a 3-1/2-hour nailbiter out of Miami , the Sony Ericsson Tennis Open (a.k.a., the fifth grand slam, in some circles). Wouldn’t mind my kids spending more time watching (then implementing what they’ve learned on the neighborhood courts).
Keeping things positive on a Monday, I’m thrilled to have another of Diane Lang’s posts to share. Today she tackles a subject near and dear to my heart–te overabundance of media impacting our kids. (Wonder if our parents felt the same way when TV became a more common household item–hmm.)
Healthy viewing choices for your children
It’s a constant battle with the media and all the technology around us. There is a lot of great things about TV, video games and computers. There is an educational value on all three but what about the negatives? Below will be some tips on helping your children make healthy choices with TV, Video games and computer.
1. Research says young kids watch between 4-6 hours of TV ( this also includes video and computers).This is way too much time. A healthy amount of time to be spent in front of the TV and technology is 1-2 hours a day. This is also a realistic amount of time. Some research says less then an hour a day but as a parent we know this might not be realistic. 1-2 hours  a day is more realistic.
2. Offer alternatives to TV and technology. Have your kids signed up for activities that involve either socialization and/or physical activity. Also, offer alternatives such as: Board games, playing outside, arts and crafts, music/dance, play dates, etc.  
*Have a flashback moment: Think: When I was a child how did I occupy my time? Think of all the fun things we did as a child before video games/computers. We played outside, hide and seek, tag, swings, collecting leaves and rocks outside; We had puzzles, deck of cards, board games, etc.
3. When your child watches TV, try to be involved. Watch the program with your child. Discuss the program afterwards. Ask questions: what did they like about the show? what was their favorite character? Etc.
4. Consequences of too much time in front of the TV, computer or playing video games:
Lack of physical activity which can lead to obesity. Children can also have less fresh air due to the TV, computer and video games being inside games.
Lack of socialization– they now say that teenagers are getting depressed due to social networking on their computers with such sites as face book and my space. Fight this battle with younger kids. Set up play dates.
TV shows include a lot of commercials – this puts you in a  tough situation because your kids will be constantly wanting/asking for new games, toys and sugary foods. Fight the battle by using DVD’s where there are no commercials.
It also affects their attention span.
For more information contact Diane at
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I find this discussion fascinating, especially the decreased attention span. I definitely have my thoughts on the matter and maybe will bring them up at another time. Thanks so much, Diane, for sharing your insight and remedial ideas with all of us here!
Thanks so much for stopping in, friends. Life is a bit hairy at my house right now, and this week’s blog may fall a little short. I’m hoping though, to sneak in what I’d originally planned. Stay posted and have a wonderful day!

3 thoughts on “PEM: Healthy Viewing Choices for Kids

  1. Thanks, Diane. You always address the best in relatable topics.

    Keeping viewing time within the parameters you mentioned, especially with my younger son who loves those video games, TV and YouTube, is quite the challenge. (The older one lives attached to his I-phone and I can easily spend the day with my Nook as my third hand, lol.)

    Content, though, is another big issue–can’t stand most of the stuff these kids are exposed to; sad, too. Short of no longer paying for internet and/or cable or being the TV police during their waking hours, it’s quite an undertaking to keep the content positive. Snooki is a lame role model but our society (in this case Rutgers) would rather pay her more to address students than a Pulitzer prize winner. Go figure.


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