Can “Television Time” ever be Constructive for our Children

childreadbookTelevision suffers from a stigma: An over exploitation of violence, sex and drug use.

Although these thematic elements do circulate the tube quite often, television also provides a wide-range of family entertainment that is both educational and inspirational.

Parents who fear their child may be exposed to inappropriate elements must trust that with health viewing habits and parental supervision, “television time” can be a constructive experience. Here are several ways your children can benefit from watching television:

Today’s Plethora of TV Channels Introduce Children to A Variety of Subjects

Kids are predisposed to explore. From following the sounds of a frog to dreaming what it would be like to live in the stars–young minds and curiosity go hand-in-hand.

Television, in a symbolic-sense, is a stagnate device to explore.

If there is a subject that interests your child, chances are, you will find a program or station attuned to his or her fascination. Especially nowadays, where diversity (and the sheer amount of channels to choose from) is infinite. Services like XTRA from DIRECTV is a perfect example, as parents have access to hundreds of unique channels tailored to children, adults and families.

But don’t assume all children are interested in strictly kid-friendly entertainment. If, for example, you’re an avid watcher of cooking stations, you might be surprised to learn just how captivated your child is with shows like Chopped or Top Chef.

The next time you have a little alone time with your little one, flip thru the tube and pay attention to any intrigue your child shares with a specific subject. Who knows? You might unlock a new passion your child never knew existed.

Build Analytical Thinking Thru Active Discussion

Why did that character say that? What’s going to happen next? What’s happening in the plot? Which character do you think did it?

As you co-view your child’s television experience, asking them these types of questions can build analytical skills and encourage cognitive thinking. Channels specifically designed for children don’t usually spark these types of discussions. Introduce your child to a show that might be a bit more complex, while of course still being age-appropriate, and casually promote discussions that require them to focus, to evaluate and to analyze.

Commercials can be Informative Opportunities

Advertisements are irritating. But to a child, an advertisement may confuse them about what they are watching. Advertisers customize their content to appeal to the interest of the young viewer—a disingenuous tactics indeed. However, commercials are also an opportunity for parents to introduce their child about economics is the most basic sense. By explaining what a commercial is, your child will be less vulnerable to thinking that they “need” something.

Television and Movie can Promote Children to Read

Whoever said Hollywood was running out of ideas was right. It seems each year, more and more movies are based on books—with many of those books meant for children and tweens. The next time you hear about a movie being released that was adapted from a children’s book, encourage them to read the book first, and as a reward, take them to theater or rent the movie at home when finished.


Have you ever used the movie as a reward to your child for reading the corresponding book?

How do you feel television influences your children?