You likely have your favorite TV programs, and your children have theirs. So each evening, everyone might go to their separate corners and watch their own TVs.
But while watching every single TV program with your children might be a bit unrealistic, it’s important to be involved with them with regards to entertainment. This not only provides another opportunity to connect as a family, it can also help you understand your children’s viewpoint on certain matters.
So if they normally retreat to their bedrooms for TV time after dinner or on the weekends, encourage them to watch television in the living room or family room and join them if you can.
Here are a few tips to help you stay involved with their screen time.
Get to know one of their favorite shows
Understandably, you might not be interested in programs that your children enjoy, and vice versa. Even so, you can connect and bond over entertainment by making an effort to watch shows that your children enjoy. This is also a perfect approach if you feel that you’re not spending enough quality time as a family and you’re looking for ways to spend the evenings together.
You don’t need to spend the entire evening watching TV. But if you know that your child loves a particular show, sit with them and get to know their favorite characters. You never know, you may find the program entertaining and funny. If so, watching this program with your kids could become a new routine.
Use TV as a teaching lesson
It might be difficult to bring up tough topics with your children, and you may not know how to approach a particular subject. Even though TV can be a main source of entertainment, some programs and episodes also provide excellent teaching lessons.
Let’s say you’re watching a program on the topic of childhood bullying or another touchy subject. Once the program concludes, highlight some of the teaching points from the episode and discuss with your child how they could handle a similar situation. You can find teaching lessons in just about any plot line, whether it’s dealing with lying, stealing, cheating, or getting along with others.
Correct misleading messages
On the flip side, watching television with your children also provides an opportunity to correct misleading messages that your children may see or hear. You can’t control what’s put on television, but you can step in and limit how much influence TV has over your child.
Children can receive a lot of messages from the media and programs—some good, some bad. If you’re watching TV with your kids and a misleading message pops up, you can step in and discuss the message and perhaps adjust your child’s thinking on the matter. This can help ensure your children are taught the principles and values that you find important.
Select appropriate entertainment
Unless you watch TV with your kids, you won’t know whether they’re watching inappropriate content for their age. You have the right to decide what your children view. By getting involved and sharing screen time together, you can identify inappropriate content and help your children discover shows that are right for their age and maturity level.
TV is a great way to keep your children entertained, especially when you need a little peace and quiet or when you’re taking care of household matters. But while some TV is okay, it shouldn’t be their babysitter. And from time to time, it’s important that you watch TV with your kids. This is an opportunity to bond with them, teach them and ensure that they’re receiving the correct messages.