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08/14/2014
Studies are inconclusive as to what the effects of watching television, or too much television, are on a child’s mind. What we are sure of, is that the average amount of hours spent watching television and viewing other social media, are staggering. Our desire is to inform you of statistical information available regarding television viewing, as well as some tips to help you if you believe your child is too consumed with TV, regardless of the statistics. 

Statistical Information:

- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), US American children spend 6 hours a day watching television or using other media. This is more time than they spend on any other activity, other than sleeping
- A Columbia University study consisting of over 700 children concluded that adolescents exposed to more than one hour of television per day, are more likely to show aggression in their late teens and 20s
- Children who consistently watch more than 4 hours of television daily, are more likely to be overweight
- 61% of TV programming contains violence
- Children who watch an average of 3 hours of non educational TV programming a day, will see approximately 8,000 murders by the time they finish elementary school

Gaining Control:

 Whether you find your child in the statistically high range or with significantly less television watching, you as a parent are responsible for the amount of time your child is allowed to spend in front of a television. If you are beginning to feel that your child has a problem with too much television use, here are 9 steps you can take to reduce the amount.

1. Talk with your child: Inform your child that there are going to be some changes. You as the parent, must assert yourself, give examples, and make goals. 

2. Develop a reduction plan: Ask your child what shows they must absolutely watch, find out when they are on. Develop a schedule for the hours in which your child can watch television. If they have two favorite shows on Wednesday, then they compromise by not watching TV on Thursday, for example. 

3. Turn OFF the TVIf nobody is watching it, do not keep it on as background noise.

4. Remove TVs from bedroomsIt is best to keep a television only where your child is easily supervised, helping them make honest decisions when attempting to reduce television viewing time. 

5. Provide EXCITING alternatives Involve your child in arts or sports, encourage him or her to be creative, do crafts, read, play outside, explore. Get them motivated to do something active!

6. Be TogetherGo on adventures with your children. Explore your city together. Go to museums, zoos, parks, again trying to find alternatives that interest your children. Not only will these outings get them away from the television, they will provide some excellent bonding time between you and your child.

7. Give RewardsOnce you see the plan is working, give rewards to your child, so he or she knows you appreciate the effort. 

8. Lead by exampleYour child will notice if you are not providing an example. In order to really help him or her in the process, it is advisable that you lead by limiting your own television use. 

9. Get a TutorNow that you and your child have more time, take the opportunity to get him or her extra help in any area of struggle. For tutoring in San Ramon, give us a call at The Tutoring Center, 925-362-3320, to see how we can help you.

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