Limiting children’s exposure to objectionable material is a top priority for parents. A good start is to resist putting TVs or computers in your children’s bedrooms.
Instead, put the TV and computer in areas of the house where everyone has access to them. Choose a place where you can talk with your pre-teens and they can talk with you about what they’re watching on TV or doing online.
There is little doubt that TV and Internet content can overload preteens with violent, confusing images.
By having the TV and computer in a common area, you can all enjoy them and discuss content together.
Don’t underestimate the power of your influence. Children will rarely thank you for your sound advice or act grateful when you set limits, but chances are really good they will listen and act accordingly.
Children want to know the opinions and values of their parents. They are only likely to tune out when adults lecture, preach, or scold. For this reason, it can be helpful to express opinions indirectly.
For example, in commenting on a sit-com character’s behavior, you could say, “It looks like she’s being awfully irresponsible about her friend’s safety.” See what kind of discussion you can generate with your child.
When you’re just talking about a TV character, your children are less likely to get defensive. Success is more likely if you approach these topics in a non-threatening, open manner.