Some experts - even the most critical - are of the opinion that parents should not feel guilty because their little ones are watching too much television. To solve this problem, specialists say that parents need balance, they feel practical and, most importantly, rules.
Here are some basic landmarks:
1. Set reasonable limits - and respect them. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 2 hours per day of watching including TV, DVDs and computer for children over 2 years old and not at all for children under 2 years old. Of course, applying such a rule is a problem - especially when your child is shaking, the phone rings and dinner is on the stove. Some time spent in front of the TV does no harm to anyone, but make sure that the program you watch is a suitable one. However, when you do not have much time available for your child you can help him to spend his time with other activities - dolls, drawings, building blocks - that will capture his attention in a much healthier way.
2. Do not put any TV in the child's room. When the TV is in the living room and the whole family is watching at the same time, it is much easier to control what programs your child is watching.
3. Get him to ask for your permission every time before you make it to the TV and you will always know what to watch.
4. Watch TV together as much as possible to know what they are exposed to and to be able to answer any questions they may have.
5. Watching time can be something special if you organize a regular family TV show or movie evening.
6. Talk to other parents. Since all families are different, other parents can be a good source of ideas and support.
7. Don't just rely on friends' recommendations when you want to find out what is right for your child unless you know that you share your values. Use other sources of information such as books and the Internet to get detailed information about what kind of programs a child should watch.
8. You and your partner must both agree with the established rules. At least set up to consult before you allow him to watch TV.
9. Give him a good example. It is difficult to convince your child that it is not good to watch TV for a long time if you really do. If your partner likes to look, ask him to find a place where he does not bother the others.
Here are some tips that will help you clear the screen of the little boy:
1. Recommend them puzzles appropriate to his age.
2. Design a puzzle for yourself. Help your child make a puzzle by secreting an old photo booth, greeting card or calendar with pictures in large pieces. Then, let him rearrange the pieces alone on a sheet of paper.
3. Read aloud. Buy some new books from the bookstore and read his favorite writings. Help him build a shack using a paper, blanket or towel. Then build it over chairs. Let him read under the blanket with a flashlight in his hand.
4. Read a map. Analyze a map with it and depending on what kind of map it is, indicate the main roads, highways, exits, mountains, bridges, waters.
5. Organize photo albums. Put pictures in albums. This depends on the age of your child. (If a child is too young, it may ruin the photos - so be careful.)
6. Write letters. Compose letters to friends and family, giving them details about your activities from the previous week. Young children can be encouraged to write or use labels to help them write words.
7. Dance on the music. Let him draw a flag on a paper. Stick it on your shirt and let it dance through the house on the radio music.
8. Organize the cabinets. Young children can help their parents make order in the closet, and the older ones can organize them on their own.
9. Play the train with blocks to build or draw. Put your imagination to work. Here are two quick ideas:
1. Make a flower bouquet from the paper and in the middle of each flower let him write a nice message for someone special.
2. Make a collage. Cut photos with healthy food from magazines and paste them onto cardboard. Then try to cook those foods and eat them.
10. Make evening plans for the next day. Before bed, talk to your child and set the schedule for the next day. For example: "Tomorrow morning we will not watch TV. When we wake up, we will wash, we will get dressed, we will have breakfast and then we will do x, y or z."