Gone are the days when we would wait for one week for our favorite cartoon show to appear on television. Today, the kids are spoilt for choice and most of the parents are worried on how to divert their kids' attention from television. But is watching TV really that bad? Is there a possibility to make it a learning curve? Below are some ways in which the idiot box can prove to be helpful for our kids.
1. Make it a Privilege
Watching TV is a very simple act. But you can make it a method of realization for your 4-6-year-olds that it is a privilege, a luxury and not a normal course. So, they have to earn it. You can set different criterions for the same like finishing homework on time, keeping the room clean, obeying elders, doing exercise and likewise. They would know to value it in the course of time.
2. Set Routine
Set timetable for watching TV and be very strict about it. It is very important that you follow what you preach because kids emulate you the most. It may mean sacrificing your TV time even. So, be prepared. In no time, your child would become disciplined enough to follow the rule.
3. Brain Development
Have you noticed how toddlers run towards the television set on listening to a certain music or ad? It might appear simple but it is not. There is a whole cycle going on: noticing, memorizing, retaining and recollecting. All the above processes have very active and strong brain involvement and thus, contribute to brain development. So, let your kids watch what attracts them the most.
4. Speech Development
Television is no less than a video and visual effect is generally stronger than other usual means. Whatever kids watch leaves a deep impression in their minds. This is true even for language. The toddlers can pick up words fast and learn to speak. Their vocabulary also improves.
5. Family Time
Watch TV along with your kids. Enjoy, with them, the programs they like. Take an interest in what they watch. Also, make it an interactive session by discussing the things they are watching the characters or the sequence. Enjoy a family show, like a light-hearted comedy, and laugh together. This is one of the best solutions for working parents who struggle to find a dedicated family time or spend quality time with their kids. It is sure to strengthen the parents-children bond.
6. Improves General Knowledge
Today, we have numerous channels on various topics like news, travel, tourism, food, animals, science and technology, spirituality, cultures, art, crafts etc. and General Knowledge is a subject which encompasses all these. So, help your child choose programs wisely which would not only entertain them but also helps them to know the world around them better.
7. Positive Influence
Kids are not aware what a role model is. But they are influenced by their favorite characters and start following them without even realizing it. Thus, make sure that your child watches programs which send out messages on moral values like truth, honesty, courage, patriotism, hard work and the like. The positive influence would help build a child's character.
8. Increase in Endurance Level
I still remember the rule set by my father to start the TV time with a news channel. Also, we had strict instructions not to watch TV during prayer hours and during Ramzan, the month of fasting. Needless to say, we hated those rules. With time, what changed were the news channels but not the rules. And now, as a parent, I realize the importance of those restrictions. They in fact made us more obedient. They helped us develop an attitude of acceptance towards people and situations in life which proved very beneficial, both, in personal and professional life. I have set the same rules for my kids hoping that they also learn the same life skills.
9. Respect for Family Members
The family consists of different members varying in age and taste. Everyone must get a chance to watch what they like most. So, keeping in view, that the TV time is fixed, kids should be taught to share the time among siblings and other members. They should learn to accept and respect others likes and dislikes. Some programs should be chosen which the whole family can enjoy together. It would also help in developing strong family bonding.
Thus, I would conclude on the note that television is nothing but a machine and it depends on us how to use it wisely so that it serves, mainly, two purposes. First, the kids are happy that they have watched TV and second, the parents are satisfied that the kids are learning while viewing TV.
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