The great power of TV, most people seem to enjoy it consuming shows in more places now than ever. With mobile screens and laptops, in addition to old-fashioned TV-time, viewing schedules aren't relegated to evenings and weekends. With viewers ranging from adults to toddlers, it's clearly a big part of our home life. Studies suggest the average kid in America clocks in about 35 hours of tv a week, and the numbers are expected to rise.
The youngest spectrum of television viewers being the most impressionable, it's no surprise that parents are concerned with how to limit the notoriously powerful influence of TV in their children's lives. Yet it seems an increasing number of kids rely on electronic devices over hands-on parenting. Parents realize the importance of limiting visual media's influence over their children but are uncertain how do to get their kids to watch less tv.
6 top parenting tips to get kids to watch less TV.
Here are just a few ways to get kids to watch less tv, create healthier behavior patterns and most importantly avoid becoming couch potatoes.
1. Introduce outdoor activities.
Outdoor activities are a great way to get your child away from the TV and out into the world. Fishing, camping, running, and swimming are age old past times that help your child connect with the outdoors.
2. Try something new.
Enroll your children in engaging summer or after-school camps to get kids to watch less TV and spark some interest in a new hobby.
3. Find a love for sports.
Sports which are popular the world over, and even depicted in most video games, can encourage more children to ditch the boob tube and get active! After-school activities like football, soccer, and junior sports leagues are great for keeping kids active and introducing the importance of teamwork. Or if those don't fit their style, try extreme sports like skateboarding or off-road biking. Both can really pump things up while tapping into your child's adventurous nature.
4. Limit screen time.
Although it may not be the most popular thing to do, limiting or moderating a child's hours in front of the screen is necessary at times. Of course, younger children benefit from scheduled screen time involved, whereas older children may need to flex their screen time around other responsibilities. Utilize built-in parental controls and power-down features on all your household devices to limit their run-time. You can also add this wish to your family's mobile chore chart app for easy tracking and rewarding.
5. Create a competition.
Get the whole family involved in cutting back screen time. Set weekly competitions for who can cut back their TV time the most. Let each week's winner choose the game for family game night or what's for dinner to celebrate.
6. Spend time with your kids.
Last, but certainly not least, do you ever just take time from your busy day to sit down, and talk to your children about various things? The possibilities for substituting quality time for TV time are endless. Maybe plan a road trip, go on a bike ride, or just take regular after-school walks with them. Anything that you can do to suggest family time away from the TV will emphasize just how much you care.
While some problems only have a few solutions, these suggestions all have the potential to unlock so much more. Getting kids to watch less TV, it's not impossible, but rather a parenting art.