Television can be a boon or a curse. It depends on what you make of it. But it is one thing that cannot be ignored. It has become a regular part in everyone’s life but once you see how kids get attached to visuals, you will be concerned.
It can definitely be used for the development of the child but only if you use it in the right way. Whatever a child watches, he/she will imagine accordingly. The child’s imagination also depends on what they see around them.
Healthy habits for managing the screen usage
It is usually difficult for the children who are under two years of age to really grasp what they are watching. It would be advisable for kids under this age to indulge in more of the physical activities.
You can have set time for screen usage that includes TV, Tablets, Smartphone etc. There must be fixed slots of about 20 minutes each to let your child indulge into anything you play for them on these screens. These slots must be limited to about 3 times a day maximum. One hour in a day (in total) dedicated to screen usage is advisable. Much time for Physical activities will result in better emotional and mental health.
Don’t make it a habit to play something on the screen while the child eats as this will spoil their eating habits.
Managing WHAT your child must watch on television
It is very much advisable to avoid programmes that include a lot of violence or are scary. Violent programmes tend to bring out aggressive behavior in the kids. This will harm in the long run. The scary programmes on the other hand may frighten your toddler and harm mentally or emotionally.
It would be perfect to set up some shows that are slow paced and soothing to watch. Many kids’ programmes include dancing and singing or even sounds of animals and birds. Such shows would enhance and inspire your child to repeat them.
MAINTAINING DISTANCE WITH THE TELEVISION
Sitting too close to the television or any screen may result in myopia or shortsightedness.
Apart from this, the child may start feeling uncomfortable as there would be dryness in the eye or even blurry visions. Though this kind of eye strain will not permanently damage the child’s eyesight but it will create an irritation for the toddler.
Create a habit that will make the child understand that he/she must sit at this particular place and distance while watching the television.
Managing HOW your child watches the television
You need to dedicate your time to your child in these special years because this will help in the long run. These are the root years.
You must be careful in choosing the programmes that your child would watch. Make time when your child watches the television in the given time slots so that you can sit down with them while they watch. You can remind them some minutes prior that the show is going to end so that they will understand the time limits. This will also make them ready for the next activity. Switch off when the show ends at the given time.
While watching the shows with the child, you must encourage them to ask you questions. You can also keep explaining to them what is going on so they can relate. If it helps, you can even record and keep the shows so that you can play them on your time period and keep pausing them in between watching to explain or ask what the child is learning. This interaction will help to build a better understanding between the two of you.
Television has become like a backdrop in every house. It is always on no matter what we do. We also tend to simply surf the channels and that will spoil your toddler’s habits. You need to understand that this is bad for your child and everyone in the family must make it a habit to watch television in rooms or at times when the child is not around. Some restrictions and habits now would result in better tomorrow.