5 Important TV Watching Guidelines for Kids

how much tv should kids watchIt feels like televisions are everywhere! We have them in multiple rooms in our home. They’re in waiting rooms and lobbies. They’re even in schools.

As a parent, I understand their draw. It’s easy entertainment. If I had the time, I could sit down and watch for hours. It’s no wonder kids become transfixed. Like many parents, I’m guilty of turning on an episode of Sofia the First so I can get some chores done quickly without being interrupted.

But like anything else, too much of TV isn’t good for anyone. Here are some helpful guidelines you can set to reduce TV’s impact.

1. Simply the limit the amount of time spent watching

This is simple. Just turn it off. You might deflect a few minutes of protests, but kids are easy to entertain. They’ll find something else to do and play with. Two hours of TV per day is about as much as you should allow for toddlers. Insist on no TV during bed and meals. That said…

2. Don’t set an “allowance”

Don’t make it clear that two hours is your maximum or your child might expect to get that much every day. If she knows that she gets “two Doc McStuffins, a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and a Bubble Guppies,” she’ll complain if she misses her time. If your child doesn’t appear to want the TV, leave it off.

3. Watch calm programs

Slower-paced programing gives children time to think and absorb they information they’re getting. Fast-paced shows with loud music and flashing colors are confusing and may cause attention disorders later in life. Also, no scary shows. Everyone needs their sleep.

4. Watch with your kids

Like I said, I know how easy it is to use TV as a short-term babysitter, but it’s important we watch TV with our children. Interact during the show so they don’t sit on the couch like a zombie. Ask them what they learned or why something happened. This also gives you the opportunity to answer any questions they have while they’re fresh.

5. Don’t make the TV front-and-center

I bet in each of our living rooms we have a bunch of furniture pointed at the TV. This makes TV the center of our lives. If possible, make the TVs less convenient. Put them in corners or inside cabinets. Don’t make them visible from the eating places.

Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and everyswaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

Interested in writing a guest blog for Sleeping Baby? Send your topic idea to pr@sleepingbaby.com.

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