Set The Right Example
If your child sees you plopped down on the couch, glued to the television set for hours at a time, they will want to follow your example. You can tell your kids the right things, but unless you live by those words, they will ring hollow. By limiting the amount of time you spend watching television, you have a much better chance of getting that message across to your little ones.
Make Television A Privilege, Not A Right
Television should be a treat for your children and not a way of life. That means not relying on the TV to watch your children for you instead of spending more time with them. If they become accustomed to watching as much television as they want, with no questions asked, this makes the habit much tougher to break as they get older. Set limits on the amount of time that they can spend planted in front of the tube.
Don't Allow Television To Become Priority
One of the best rules that you can make as far as is concerned: no television until schoolwork and chores have been completed. If you have a child that struggles to do their share around the house, limiting their TV access until they have completed the necessary tasks is a great way to light a fire underneath them and motivate them to take more of an interest in their housework and schoolwork.
Know What They Are Watching
If you hear your child talking about a show, take the time to research what they are watching and make sure it is appropriate for their age group. Watch an episode on your own, so that you can get a feel for the tone and content of their program. When you know exactly what your kids are watching, this places you in a much more advantageous position as far as monitoring their viewing habits is concerned.
Have An Open Dialogue
There will be images that your children see, some of which may be disturbing or difficult for them to understand. When this happens, it is best to open a dialogue with your children and answer any questions they have in an open and honest manner. If there is a program that does not agree with your personal values, then you need to discuss this fact with your children, so that they know exactly where you stand going forward.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.