Watching TV can be a positive activity for children if viewed in the right context.
Watch a program with your children that takes place in another part of the United States, or another country, and find the site on a map or globe.
Read a story from that area, learn about that place’s history, or cook a meal from that culture.
Help your child develop an understanding of time by comparing lengths of TV shows. Compare a half-hour show to a one-hour show, or to a two-hour movie.
Teach your child how to tell time by comparing the current position of the clock hands to the time when a specific show comes on.
You could teach a child the days of the week in the same way with a calendar.
Develop simple word problems using television. For example: “If there are six commercials and each is 30 seconds long, how many minutes of commercials will you watch during this program?”
Watch the news with your children and follow a story. Watch the same story on different channels and discuss the differences and similarities. Find the same topic in the newspaper, a magazine, or on the Internet and compare the coverage.
It is almost impossible to eliminate TV viewing. By talking about it, and making it a learning experience, you can help make television a positive part of your child’s life.