Television has great influence in a family; parents have the responsibility of controlling TV watching in their homes. Middle-school kids can get hooked to watching programs, therefore, it is advisable for you to limit what they watch as well as reduce the screen time. Controlling TV viewing helps you know the kind of content your kids see and listen to.
Schedule the appropriate time for the entire family to watch TV. Ensure that your middle-school kid does not exceed two hours watching television. As per the advice of The American Academy of Pediatrics, you should choose educational content for your kid(s) to view. Educational programs should exclude violent or explicit content that may affect the behavior of your kids.
You should ensure that the TV is kept at a suitable position where you can monitor the content your kids are watching. You should also be in a position to know when the kids turn the TV on. Ensure that children do not have TV sets in their rooms since it will distract them from working on their homework
Make sure that you watch TV as a family so that you can easily know the content that kids are exposed to when they watch TV programs. Watching together enables the parents to explain the messages conveyed and at the same time educate them of objectionable content. Turn off the TV set when time is up; this will create adequate time for exercising, studying, eating and sleeping.
Ensure that the parental controls are activated; service providers can help in blocking inappropriate programming. This assures the parent that the content is right and appropriate for his or her kids. You can access your account and create a secure PIN that will indicate your preferred programs. The portal also gives the program blocking option. In case you need guidance, contact your service provider for more information.
Encourage and teach your kids to involve in gaming and physical activities instead of consuming much time on TV. Accompany your kids in the backyard and play with them so as to create a strong bond between you and the child. Other beneficial activities include taking nature walks, visiting parks, playing with the right friends and reading novels. These activities keep your children occupied and healthy in fact, children may find such activities exciting to an extent they find TV no longer interesting.
American Academy of Pediatrics: Media and Children
KidsHealth: Healthy Habits for TV, Video Games and the Internet
University of Michigan Health System: Television and Children
National Consumers League: Parental Controls: What Are Your Kids Watching?