How to use television well with our children
Television has become a means of entertainment increasingly used by children. Therefore, the effort that parents must make to guide our children towards a television as an educational tool is growing. Determining the quality of what children see can influence their subsequent development.
An investigation prepared by the Center for Sociological Research (CIS) about children and their way of consuming television has revealed some data such as that of the total time that children spend watching television, only 25% percent corresponds to children's programs; two of every three Spanish parents openly acknowledge the pollsters of the CIS that they do not control what their children see; or that 31.3% of children between 4 and 12 years old have a television in their bedrooms.
Parents should be aware that there are television content that may be inappropriate for children and therefore we must take responsibility for choosing the most suitable for each age.
7 tips to better use television
1. Do not use it as a babysitter: Many times the day-to-day tasks can improve us and we need our children to be entertained to finish the rest of the work or just rest. Instead of turning to television we can try to let them play alone, to develop creativity.
2. Take advantage of their communication and socialization possibilities: It applies to both the family and the school. We can put brief fragments and have the children tell us afterwards what happened, stimulating their understanding.
3. Be able to select content according to the interests of the family: Many times, and as is logical, we will not agree on the programs we want to see on television. For this we can take turns in which each member of the family chooses what they prefer to see according to their interests, always supervised by the parents.
4. Clearly differentiate the contents of advertising: It is important to distinguish both concepts in order to have a clear vision and an own opinion about the world that surrounds us and our values. It is important for children to make them differentiate also between reality and fiction.
5. Understand it and know it: To watch TV and understand what it offers us, we must first know it. So we can teach our children to see it in an educational and positive way. It is important to watch television with your children and take advantage of the potential you have to create a family communication around the contents.
6. Television should never be used as a reward or punishment: In doing so, we establish it as an arbiter of family life and we pass on to the child a misconception about his true entity.
7. Children have to sleep: Television should not interfere with our children's sleep schedules, which also concentrate the less indicated content.
Transmit values through television
Educational programs as Sesame Street or Dora the explorer they have given rise to enormous benefits that are sustained in the increase of the abilities to recognize and name letters or objects, to name parts of the body and to recognize geometric shapes. Children who see these drawings tend to arrive more willing to read and with more vocabulary. In addition these programs can teach children to share, to cooperate, to be more friendly, to finish the tasks they undertake ...
However, television by itself is not a good company but with the proper guidance it is definitely an excellent means of communication and learning. The parents must therefore choose the programs and regulate the time of permanence. With the presence of an adult and a good choice of programs can be a strong educational tool.
We must teach our children to watch television by analyzing and being critical of the content. The best teaching is the example, we can not require a child not to stick to a television if we parents, as soon as we get home from work is to face the television. We have to be especially careful with bad habits so that our children do not repeat them later.
María Rojas Sanabria