There are some details to observe in the television programs that your children watch. Not all children’s channels are appropriate for children. We must be careful with violent programs, lack of respect, vocabulary, etc.
My six year old is transitioning from toddler to big kid (well that’s how he feels). In this transition I have had to be very attentive to what he sees on television, since he no longer likes the same programs and is influenced by his older cousins. My son wants to be part of their games and conversation topics so he wants to watch the same shows that his cousins watch. I have had to arm myself with patience and go watching and analyzing the different programs of interest to my son. Here are five tips that have worked for me to be able to be calm while my son watches television.
Not all children’s channels have suitable programming for children
Even if they are cartoons, do not get carried away. Ask your children that if they are interested in a program they allow you to watch it first so that you can assess how suitable it is for them. I know that as a parent, maybe you have multiple occupations and you don’t have enough time to watch television, but can you believe it: it will be worth the effort, now you have options to do it, you can watch a chapter online or better yet, you can sit at see it together with your children. Thus, if you see something that you do not think is appropriate, you can discuss it with them at the moment and explain why the program is not appropriate. In the same way, you can see the reactions that the program generates in your children at the moment.
Not all television shows are educational
And that’s fine, just as we like to watch movies, comedy shows, and so on just to entertain ourselves and have fun, so our kids need it too. There will be days when you want to see a movie, play a board game, do outdoor activities, color, etc. depending on the mood they have. The point is that we must understand that our children also need a break and do not always have to be acquiring knowledge in all the activities they do.
Violent programs are surely the most attractive to our children
Especially if they are boys, in general these types of programs are the most popular and that creates social pressure on our children, other children play, talk and / or collect toys of a certain cartoon, our children will want to belong to all that, It is part of human nature. It is difficult to forbid them to see these programs but that is where we must work to maintain their high self-esteem so that they do not feel pressured or isolated by other children. We must remember that children do not have the ability to differentiate between fact and fiction, this can be a little more dangerous than we think in different ways. For example: one day when I was talking with my son about what should be done in case someone tried to kidnap him, he told me very surely: «Don’t worry mom, if someone wants to take me I know what to do. I take out my ninja sword and hit him, then I give him a super blow. I panic! My son believed that he could do what he saw the characters in his cartoons do. I had to explain to him in detail and even with physical examples (me holding his arms) so that he realized that things were not as he thought, but I do not want to imagine what would have happened if I had never clarified things and a situation had arisen risk to my son. If we allow our children to watch television programs with violence, we are also allowing them to lose sensitivity to the pain of others, each time they see violence as something of the most natural and part of daily life. It may sound a bit exaggerated but this is how criminals start.
We must guard them not only from physical violence but from inappropriate attitudes
For example, lack of respect for people of authority such as parents, teachers, and older adults. These attitudes are not so obvious so it can be easy to go unnoticed, but in the subconscious of children it will not be so. I imagine that many times you have heard it said that children’s brains are like sponges, it is the truth, that is why it is so important to be careful with what is said in front of children even when you think they are not paying attention or you think that they don’t understand what you’re saying, they don’t. It is the same when they watch television and see the lack of respect for other people, they will not detect it but their brains will, you will not notice a change in attitude immediately, but with the passage of time the lack of respect towards your parents, siblings, teacher or other relatives.
The vocabulary that is now presented on television
Nowadays it is very common to hear words like “stupid”, “idiot”, “useless”, and so on. Words that of course we would not like to hear from our children. It is easier for children to identify the words that are not correct, it is not as vague as believing that they can identify a bad attitude, it is more tangible and understandable like saying “that word is not said”, without having to explain it in in which context it is possible to say it and in which not. Something that I consider important when you hear your children say something rude or inappropriate word is to ask them if they know what they are saying, if they know what the meaning of the word is. Then, starting from there, you can start by saying that when they hear a word and do not know the meaning, before using it they should ask you what it means and that way they will know what they are saying and no one will be disrespectful.
These five practices have worked very well for me. I want to make it clear that with these very personal opinions, I do not want to demonize television. It is very valid that our children use it as a method of distraction and entertainment, but what I do want to emphasize is that we should not have high expectations of it, remember that it is not a babysitter, nor is it a teacher, it is only television, a entertainment that with supervision and without excess can be very fun and entertaining. It is a good way to spend time with your children and show them that it is important for you to understand and know their tastes and entertainment. You can believe it, you will have many more topics of interest for your children to talk with, you will create bonds that will make your children feel that you are interested in their interests and their communication channels will expand. Hopefully these tips will serve you and you will achieve as good results as I have done with my son.