What Are Your Children Really Watching?
Saturday mornings. Cold cereal and Scooby Doo. How many parents started out our childhood weekends with this simple ritual? The trick was to wake up early enough to see all of the Saturday morning cartoons because after about 10 am, the children's programming was over until Sunday night's Wonderful World of Disney show came on.
My kids also like to get up on Saturday morning and watch cartoons. And on Sunday. And Monday? and Tuesday? You know the rest. While I had only a couple of channels to choose from, my kids have access to 24 hour children's programming on several channels, compliments of cable television. If you have a satellite dish, your children have access to even more programming.
More is better, right? Well, not always. With this abundance of television stations, we need to remember that not all television programming is appropriate for all audiences.
There are many parents and grandparents who had the viewpoint that if it was a cartoon show the kids were watching, it was ok. Cartoon violence? Well, who hasn't seen that coyote catch an anvil with his head for the umpteenth time?
The fact of the matter is, when many parents were growing up, with our limited television choices, a little cartoon violence didn't seem to make too much of a difference. Now our kids can choose to watch cartoon violence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it isn't just anvils dropping out of the clear blue sky anymore. What kind of violence exists in the cartoons our kids are watching? No, Scooby Doo doesn't go into a rabid rage and maul Shaggy when there are no more Scooby Snacks. But kid's shows have battles, fights, explosions and characters making threats to injure or kill each other. And our kids are choosing to watch this programming over and over again.
So how can we help our kids to make better choices? Most families are unwilling to go cold turkey and give up all television programming, although I give KUDOS to those that are brave enough to do it. You've heard it before - limit what your kids are watching. But I'd like to add one more piece of advice: teach your children how to choose programs that are acceptable to you and your family's values. This seems to be the piece that is missing from most articles I read today on the issue of television viewing and children.
How do we do this? As you know, most television shows now carry a rating to give you an idea of the type of content (TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14 and TV-MA). Content descriptors have also been added to this system to give you additional information. These descriptors indicate the presence of suggestive dialogue (D), sexual behavior (S), foul language (L), or violence (V). These ratings can be used as a starting point for determining if a television show is appropriate for your child or family.
Be careful not to pick television shows based solely on the TV ratings system. A recent study has shown inconsistency in ratings that television networks place on their shows. Some do not use the additional content descriptors (D, S, L and V) in their ratings at all. What this means is that you may be watching a show rated TV-G and then you hear some foul language. If the rating had indicated this with the "L" description, at least you would have been prepared for it.
So what's the best way to ensure that your kids are watching shows that meet your standards? Well, parents, we are going to have to take some time and actually pay attention to what is on the stations your kids are watching! Yes, that means actually sitting down and enduring an episode or two of an animated sponge or the latest teeny bopper life story.
You can also talk to other friends and family about what their kids watch and why. Ask the parents if they have watched the shows their children watch. You will be surprised at how many parents really don't pay that much attention to the content of their children's viewing choices. They have the attitude that if it is on XYZ Children's Network, then it must be fine. Even within the children's networks, shows are geared towards a specific audience. Do you really want your 6 year old to watch a show that is a teen version of a soap opera?
Then - don't skip this one - talk with your kids about the shows they are watching. Discuss the content and if it is a show you are not going to permit them to watch, explain your reasons. You do not have to defend your choice, you are the parent after all, but just let them know why it is inappropriate.
Limit the amount of television your children watch each day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit a child's use of TV, movies, and video and computer games to no more than 1 or 2 hours per day. This will also encourage them to make different choices about their television activities. Do they really want to watch this rerun for the 15th time or would they rather wait and watch something new?
Take the time to teach your children how to make better choices with their electronic entertainment. It's a skill that they will carry with them past the next Saturday morning.
Lisa Workman is the author of Tokens for TV: A Sensible Approach to Balancing Television, Video Game and Computer Activities. For more information email email@example.com or visit her website at http://www.tvtokens.com
Twin and Multiple Births are on the Rise
Did you know that the number of twin births have more than doubled since the early 1970s? Today, about one of every 35 births in the United States are twins. Even more significant is the number of triplet and higher multiple births which have increased 200 percent over the last three decades.
Build Character Now! Practical Tools for Busy Parents
"To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." -Theodore Roosevelt, U.
Stop Lying NOW
Do you have a consistent problem with your child lying to you, even though he or she is normally a "good" child? Sometimes the lies are even about things that don't really matter or your child continues to lie in the face of overwhelming proof to the contrary?It is my firm belief that we will not end lying behavior in our children until we take away the consequences for telling the truth. This is a concept explored in greater detail within Nancy Buck's book, Peaceful Parenting®.
Adoption: Laughter and Tears
If you ever walk through an orphanage, it will be an experience you'll never forget. Witnessing children in poverty, children discarded, children stunted both physically and emotionally, will stir your heart beyond belief.
School Issues: When Should an ADHD Child Be Held Back In School?
This can be a very complicated issue, so I don't mean to suggest that my comments here are the definitive thoughts on the subject. For a parent to even consider the issue, things have to be pretty problematic at school.
Public Schools --- Why On Earth Do We Need Them?
From the time the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 until the 1850s, most parents taught their children to read at home or sent their children to small private or religious grammar schools. Education was voluntary and local governments did not force parents to send their children to state-controlled schools.
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
Q. "What do you want to be when you grow up?"A.
Is Your Teen Stressed? Teach Them How to Manage Their Time, Schoolwork, and Leisure Activities
I hear from many parents that their child is stressed out with schoolwork, tests, finals, finding time to study, and extracurricular activities.I know I mentioned in our previous Organewz issue that I would talk about filing systems, but I feel that I must talk to you about assisting teens and preventing stress overload in our children.
Your Checking Account
Checking accounts are an absolute necessity these days. You can either have a checking account or run to the bank or other outlet for money orders.
Tips for Single Parents
Prioritize. Learn to say No.
Get Down (On The Floor!) And Play With Your Children
When was the last time you and your kids rolled around on the floor together laughing yourselves silly? If you're like me, it may have been a while! Sometimes I get caught up in household chores, give errands a priority or answer the phone when I know I should let it ring, instead of making time for my two daughters. It's not that I don't play with them; just the opposite is true.
Humans and Their Innate Need for Drug Stimulation
We know that ancient cultures and Indians and the like across the globe used such mind-altering drugs to alter their states. Still today in the world we have whole cultures enslaved to drugs of some type.
Ten Reasons to Tell your Kids Stories
In today's busy world, many parents have lost the art of telling their stories to their kids. Here are ten reasons why these stories are so beneficial:1.
5 Ways To Tell If A Preschooler Is Living In Your House
1. You reheated the same cup of coffee three times this morning.
The Seven Keys of Being a Father
Is there a fathering instinct?Celebrated child development expert Erik Erikson maintains that adults have a fierce desire to protect and nurture the next generation. This is the generative nature of parenting- to nurture and protect the next generationWe recognise this desire in women as the maternal instinct.
Dads, Give them Household Chores
You have a chore to do around the house, and your kids want to help out. You know it might be nice for them to help, but you're feeling a bit impatient.
Car Wash Fundraiser Preparation
Are you considering a car wash fundraiser for your group? We all no it is getting harder and harder to raise the funds for non-profit groups these days. Especially kids groups such as youth groups, sports teams, high school bands and scouts.
They Call it Puppy Love
My son is 6 yrs old. He came home the other day from school and stated that he had two girlfriends.
Give Your Child Life Skills for a Lifetime
Many parents struggle with solutions to put their child on the fast track to success, and one such solution is not usually far from home. It is your local martial arts school.
Selecting and Hiring Childcare Employees
In today's fast-paced society, many families depend on some form of childcare arrangements to help meet the demands of family and work. The majority of parents in America work outside the home, creating a need for dependable childcare.
|home | site map|