Seven Tips to Tame
the TV Monster
in Your Home
By New Life Ministries
Dont use the TV as a baby-sitter. Usually, parents are extremely
careful about choosing a baby-sitter and a day care for their children.
Why are we not as careful about choosing the programs our children watch
2. Know what shows your kids are watching on TV. It is vitally
important to know the content of every program your child watches. For
younger children, videos are much easier to monitor. Ask the question,
Is the content in line with our moral guidelines? If TV is
not working to enhance your values, it may just be working to oppose your
values and charging you a lot for it. Throw away the remote, or
at least save it only for Dad, when he must watch two football games at
the same time!
3. Dont put a TV in your childs bedroom. A TV
in your childs bedroom is a big no-no. You wont be able
to monitor the content, and your kids will be drawn to their rooms
at the expense of family interaction. A TV in the bedroom is a far
too attractive temptation that easily interrupts such important matters
as sleep, schoolwork, reading and interaction with others.
4. Set limits on TV time. What are your guidelines, rules
and expectations for TV viewing? Can your children watch TV before
school? How about before homework is finished? How many hours a day
can the TV be on? Setting limits may be a challenge to your whole
family, but when the limits are followed consistently, the results
make them well worth it.
5. Make an appointment with the TV. Its a good idea
to be proactive about your TV use and misuse. Many healthy families
pull out the TV guide on a weekly basis and make TV appointments for
the week. This monitors what shows your family is watching and how
often, and it can make watching a TV program a family activity. Not
too much butter on the popcorn though! Mom and Dad, why dont
you make appointments with the TV, too? What children see, children
6. Dialogue with your children about TV shows. All television
is educational. The question is, What does it teach? Recently,
I gave in to watching a movie on TV under the condition that afterward
we would discuss it and react to it. Thankfully, the movie wasnt
as gross as I thought it would be, and together we debriefed the themes
and content over frozen yogurt. We turned a mediocre movie into a
first-rate learning experience.
7. Make the VCR your friend. If you cant watch the few
good shows on TV because of your familys schedule, then tape
them and watch them as a family the VCR can be your friend.
Excerpted from 10 Building Blocks to a Happy Family by Jim Burns.
New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women, and
relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.
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