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Three Ways to Limit Your Family’s Television Usage

March 9, 2015


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Your television is likely a regular part of your daily life, providing you with the news and entertainment you need to stay informed and relaxed. However, if you have a family, you are probably aware that your TV isn’t always the best choice for your children’s health and well-being. Fortunately, thanks to things like programmable remote controls and cable box settings, you can regulate how much and what type of television your children consume. But you can’t rely on your television remote controls to institute these rules: read on to learn how to set rules and enforce positive behaviors for your children and the television.

Limit the Time the Entire Family Spends With the TV Remote Controls
The best way to keep your children from watching too much television is to reduce the amount of TV your entire family watches, especially when it comes to time you spend together. Start by barring the television from mealtimes: consider moving the set into a different room if necessary and ask your children to help you prepare dinner beforehand instead of watching a program. From this point, try to plan family events that revolve around spending time together instead of watching TV, and focus on watching specific shows or programs instead of channel surfing.

Prioritize Other Activities
Experts recommend that children watch no more than one to two hours of television a day. An easy way to limit this amount is by setting basic rules: for example, no TV until their homework and chores are finished. You can also reduce their viewing habits by engaging in sports, clubs, and activities like reading during the week and on the weekends. However, you shouldn’t try to limit television consumption by taking this right away as a punishment: this will only heighten its importance and value. Instead, shift their attention and appreciation towards healthier tasks, and don’t be afraid to relax the rules for educational programs once in awhile.

Use Your Devices
Today, there are a number of programmable remote controls that come with parental controls. However, you have more tools in your arsenal than simply programming a remote. In many cases, you can also use the settings on your cable box to block specific channels, ratings, content, shows, and even entire time slots. Check your equipment manual to learn about your options. If you have an older television, you may also want to invest in a V-chip, which blocks certain types of shows and movies; all sets manufactured after 2000 have this implement, but they can also be installed. However, it is important that you know how to use all of these devices if they are to be effective; for this reason, if your remote, for example, is lost or broken, you may want to purchase a TV remote replacement that is the same model you are used to. These programmable remote controls will help you easily navigate and limit the time your family spends in front of the television.

When used correctly, your television can be a great source of information, learning and relaxation. However, when over-used, it can be distracting and unhealthy. What steps does your family use to limit your television usage? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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