It’s no good denying it; television plays a more significant role in the lives of kids now than ever. In fact, in modern society, not letting your kids watch TV isn’t really an option. Besides, you probably wouldn’t want to. There are many benefits to be gained from television, as can be seen from sites like www.livestrong.com. Shows like Monster Math Squad can even help kids get their heads around difficult subjects. And, of course, being up to date on the latest big things ensures they’re on common ground with their peers.
However, that doesn’t mean you should let kids watch what they want when they want. There’s no denying that excessive television is having a negative impact on our kids. So like many other things, this very much becomes a matter of balance. That means limiting the amount of television you allow your children to watch. This is also an issue of control. How much control do you practice over what they view? Should you tighten the reins?
If you’re asking yourself these question, it might be fair to say that tighter controls are needed. After all, losing track of what your kids are watching is when real damage can be done. But, how can you take control of something like this?
Choosing the right channels
In the modern age, there’s a real focus on the idea that more channels are better. In a family home, though, the more channels you have, the less control you can practice. How can you track what your kids are watching when they have 500+ options to choose from? Instead, you may be better opting for something like the Optimum Core package from www.optimum.com and other companies like them. This way, you’ll have a much smaller selection to keep track of. What’s more, packages like these allow you to see what you’re getting before you buy. That means you can pick options with kid-friendly channels. Don’t worry; there should still be plenty of options for you to choose from here, too. But, removing quantity and focusing on quality could change watching habits.
With that in mind, it may also be worth steering clear of options such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Again, these offer choices that you may not want your children exposed to. What’s more, the general conversation about programs on these platforms could tempt errant viewing. Let’s not forget, either, that both can be used on laptops and phones once you sign up. As such, your children could slip into bad watching habits while you’re none the wiser. To ensure that doesn’t happen, it may be best to remove temptation. At least until they’re a little older! If you love having these options parental controls are a great option!
If you can’t stand the idea of saying goodbye to choice, you may want to stick with parental controls. These allow you to have all the channels you like, while still limiting what’s available to your children. With a password, you’ll be able to block individual programs you deem inappropriate or ban channels. Bear in mind that you’ll need to consider your child’s tech ability to make this work. In many households, children are better with devices than their parents. If this is the case, your children may not have any trouble overcoming the locks you put in place. If this is a concern for you, you could always try to alter the password on a regular basis. Make sure to change the settings you have in place often. New channels crop up every day, and many of them won’t be appropriate. But, these won’t yet be covered by your controls. Make sure to assess any new channels you notice carefully.
Only use a family television
In truth, it’d be tough for your kids to get themselves into too much trouble when you’re in and out of the living room. They aren’t going to risk watching programs they shouldn’t this way. Instead, most of their questionable viewing will likely take place in their rooms. It’s not unusual to let children have televisions in their rooms. Many parents are guilty of falling for the ‘Oh, but my friends have one,’ argument. Some may even wonder what the harm is.
Sadly, when you consider the issue, letting kids watch television in private can do a lot of harm. For one, articles found on sites like www.livescience.com/ suggest that this can cause health issues. But, where you’re concerned, private television watching is impossible to track. They could be watching highly inappropriate shows, and you wouldn’t have a clue. What’s more, they’ll have a lot more time to break through any parental controls you do attempt to put in place. Before you know it, the matter will be out of your hands altogether.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, keep your family television as the only one in your house. With the ability to pause and record programs which overlap, there’s no reason this can’t work for everyone. And, you can pop in whenever you fancy to check up on things this way.
Stick to a watershed
It’s also worth noting that programs vary depending on the time of day. Up until seven or eight o’clock, there shouldn’t be any issues here. But, past that point, you may stumble across programs which aren’t good for small kids. Even older children would struggle with shows shown past nine. Here, violence and occasional bad language are sure to crop up. To make sure your kids don’t stumble across this, it’s worth sticking to a shut-off point for television. Even if they’re allowed to stay up until half nine, turn the television off the moment those nine o’clock shows start to play. It’s worth sticking to this, even if there are programs which wouldn’t be a problem. As soon as you begin to loosen the reigns, you may lose control. As such, it’s worth keeping this as a hard and fast rule.
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