Single Parenting: Why Children's TV Time is Not Quality Time


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Discipline and following a healthy schedule of activities are some of the most difficult tasks of single parents. When your child comes to a certain age where Dora the Explorer or Barney become his constant companion, getting your child away from the television and into other, more healthy activities will become much harder than you think. A busy single parent may just easily overlook this tiny disciplinary matter and relinquish parental control over to the television. What single parents don’t know is that becoming television-dependent could be intellectually, emotionally and socially damaging to your child.

A child should accumulate as much significant learning from his natural environment and from interactions with other children and older figures. Being glued to the television simply limits these activities. While it is true that moderate amount of child-friendly television shows develop the spacial and aural abilities of your child, too much television can also impair the other aspects of your child’s mental development and total, wholistic growth of your child.

What can a busy, single parent do to help limit her child’s time in front of the television without the usual resistance of tantrums from the child?

1. Keep household televisions in rooms where your child have no access in. Keeping your television in your locked room prevents you child from watching television without your supervision.

2. Make television a reward for your child and not as a common commodity in the household where he or she can easily turn to when bored. Allow him or her an extra fifteen minutes of watching television if he or she turns in an extra-neat homework or if he or she brings home a star in his or her art class.

3. Allow your child only at least three specific children’s program every week that he or she can watch with you. Make them plot out or plan a schedule on when they can watch these shows.

4. Avoid making the television as a background music or sound when eating or dining with your child. Most parents often do this to block out the silence in the house, and thus, in the process, they teach their child to turn to television to more unnecessarily than they should be. Instead, play classical music or children’s nursery rhymes in the background if the need be. Better yet, teach your child the value of silence and introspection once in a while.

5. Avoid using the television for relaxation. Instead, turn to other alternatives such as reading a book along with your child or do some easy crafts together.

Children’s formative years are crucial and more than anyone, parents – and not televisions - should play their vital roles well, if we are to grow healthy and happy children.

JB Anthony is the webmaster of . For more information, guides, tips on single parenting, single parents relationship and dating, government's aid to single parents and scholarship links for single parents, please visit .


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