Parenting Tips: How To Pick The Right TV Shows For Your Preschooler
As watching television is already part of daily routines, parents are likely to let their kids become exposed to TV shows early on. Per Child Trends, watching television is the other activity that kids spend more time on aside from sleeping, but the problem is that not all programs are fit for children's viewing.
Parents need to cultivate a healthier TV habit with their kids by choosing educational and appropriate programs. This is more crucial for preschoolers who tend to watch their favorite programs over and over.
Below are some tips to picking out the right shows for your preschoolers:
1) Choose shows that have short episodes and set up a TV schedule. Ideally, programs must be between 25 to 30 minutes long only, so that it's easier to take breaks from viewing, per Baby Center. Ideally, children shouldn't be watching TV for more than two or three hours daily even during weekends when school is out. For preschoolers, the ideal TV time is only at least an hour daily, per University of Michigan Health System.
2) Let the children watch shows that have great messages and learning points. Parents usually pick shows that let children learn their alphabets or numbers in a fun way, but don't limit yourself to these choices. There are programs like "Caillou" and "Little Einsteins," which are great teaching young kids about sharing, friendships, music and arts, per Parenting.
Also keep in mind that there are "educational" programs that present no dialogues and only feature scenes and pictures. Per Hanen, these may actually offer very little help in stimulating a child's development, so reconsider when letting your kids watch these.
3) Be sure to watch programs together with your preschooler as co-viewing is vital to the way they form their values and habits. Per Common Sense Media, It also helps to be familiar with what your kids are watching, so that you will be aware of what's appropriate. Remember, a show or character may be popular but is it age appropriate? As you're watching, ask the child questions about the show, too, so that you can gauge how they are perceiving what they are watching.
4) If possible, avoid watching televisions with advertisements as the promotions may expose preschoolers to inappropriate or disturbing contents. Most programs today are already available for streaming in the Internet, which means you can skip the ads altogether. If not, use the DVR to record the kids' programs and then watch this at your most convenient time and simply fast forward through the ads.