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The existence of television in the modern days has been cursed by many people as this electronic box (it was box, even cube) will give some harmful effects toward the children's growth physically and mentally. Television can be a blessing for the family, but some rules need to be set so that we can make television useful instead of harmful.
I agree with the statement in one side and I prefer children playing non-electronic games rather than spending their time in front of the television. Some people even don't subscribe for television channels so that they can maintain the natural growth of family and kids.
Benefits of Watching Television for Children
However, there are some reasons that I think we need to wise to allow the television stay in our family as our tools to help our family.
Television is a knowledge Resources
Watching some knowledge or non fiction movie channels on the desired limited time can provide children visualization to a lot of things that they have never seen and felt in their life. There are a lot of educational channels available for families. You might say that reading can replace this function. I would like to say that reading could replace the function in less appeal. Some kids have difficulty in imagining the reading setting. They need some help. Television can be a great help if it is used in a limited time without reduce the reading habit.
Means of Communication
Some fictional popular movies during the weekend would be good to watch with the family. Watching television together can be an alternative for family to gather. Discussion after watching a movie will have different atmosphere. Discussing a book after reading together is great, but watching movie will give everyone the same media at the same time and place.
We can learn from some regular instructional shows, like the arts, drawing, dancing, aerobic, etc. Those are just some alternatives for collective family activities that can be very entertaining for each family member. Movie just one feature of entertainment from the television. Some people like me need more practice to follow physical activities. Having fun together following series of instructions will give another atmosphere.
Some quiz shows would add more general knowledge and logic for kids to follow in limited time. It is not only movies that the telly can offer to the children, but watching some quiz will give widen perspective and challenge to everyone and will be able to lead everyone to work cooperatively. A couple quizzes I like are: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and Family Feud. You should have more collection than me. Of course you have to select the proper the quiz for your family
Boost the Confidence and Creativity Ideas
The singing, nursery rhymes and karaoke shows will give more confidence and creativity ideas with the performance. To be able to sing together accompanied by musical instrument is another activity you can have with the television. There are some TV channels featuring singing together and dancing like Hi5 in Disney Channel.
Give Time to Parents
Giving some time for parents doing private activity. The television can give some parents some chance to do some working or private things. It is also a rewarding time for parents. Of course parents need to know what kids are watching and limit the time. You might say that they can read, but some kids need parents' accompany to read.
Practice the Listening Skill
Boosting the language listening, especially if you have a second language. Watching English movie is very helpful for my children as English is our second language and my country's foreign language. Kids often have new vocabulary from watching the English movie.
Rules to Make Television Useful
As a thread of television use, there are some rules we have to make television useful:
- Set the time limit for watching. This is the hardest part of being consistent to the limit. Parents are often tempted to get more time to enjoy themselves or being busy with their own business. I think the problem is not with the children but more with the parents, including myself.
- Watching television can be a privilege. You might make the television hour as a regular schedule, but there is also an alternative to make it as a privilege so that
- Parents should know when they need to accompany their children. There are some movies or channels that need guidance from parents. There might be some shoots in a movie that need to be skipped. Parents should not be ignorant about this.
- Children need to give response when they are called in the middle of the movie. Well, I really don't like television since it will make kids ignore calling. Therefore, I use this rule to my children that they need to come or answer politely anytime someone calling or there is any door bell or telephone call.
- Get the children watch in an easily observed place at home. The main reason for this one is that to ease the parents controlling what the children are watching. It doesn't mean that I cannot trust them. I just tell them that I don't want other place become messy.
- Avoiding television during either the family time or meal time. Everyone here is busy, so the family and meal times should be a precious moment for everyone. Not only television is prohibited, but also are other gadgets. Therefore, parents should try hard to avoid gadget use during the time.
- Set up your parental control if you have any. There are inappropriate ages of movies or channels that children should not watch. Some television providers has parental control features that should be worth to use.
To conclude, watching the television is not completely problematic, but we need to get some consistent rules set to make television useful, instead of harmful.
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