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TV Tips:  Viewing with Your Family

From the May 2001 Newsletter



Every family uses TV differently.  If you are concerned about the amount of time your kids spend with TV, or the kind of content they're watching, there are steps you can take, in addition to using the TV ratings or the V-Chip:

  • Plan Your TV time:  Set TV time limits -- experts recommend children watch no more than 1 to 2 hours each day, including videotapes.

  • Make Your Own TV Guideline:  Get into the habit of checking the TV rating before you watch a program.

  • Watch TV with Your Child:  Whenever possible, watch TV with your child and talk about the program while you watch.  Keep TV sets out of kids' bedrooms.

  • Learn to Watch TV Carefully and Critically:  Pay attention to how TV and other media might be affecting your children's behavior -- what they talk about, how they dress, who they admire, and what items they own with product logs.

  • Use TV to Talk with Kids About Tough Issues:  Television can offer you a springboard to discuss tough issues with your kids.  It's not always easy to talk to kids about violence, sex, alcohol or drugs, but once a TV character opens the door, the time is right.

  • Set an Example When You Watch TV:  Be selective when you use TV -- pay attention to how much and what you watch when children are around.

Excerpted from material provided by the V-Chip Education Project.  For a complete list of suggestions, visit their website.