TV channels are limited for some while growing up. Those times cartoons were not on TV 24/7, so we can only watch them before going to school early in the morning and on weekends. During these days, kids have many options and multiple TV channels for cartoons, showing all day and all week.
On the other hand, the good news is that nowadays, programs do go beyond math and reading teaching, delving into social interactions that aid kids learn how to build friendships and get along with each other, encourage problem solving in the world around them and gain new ideas on how to deal with new, unfamiliar situations.
TV time can be advantageous for kids when they watch the right (TV Shows) content. The following tips offer ideas on how to do that:
Find talking points: Parents who watch shows with their children can use the program’s topic as a talking point. A character lies, steals, cries, fights, helps others or cooperates. Ask the children what happens when someone lies or steals. What can a person do when she’s upset? These provide opportunities for families to discuss what happens when you do the right thing and how the character went about solving a problem.
Tie show with research: Maybe the kids learned a new word or a program’s topic fascinated them. Use the opportunity to go online to do research and gain researching skills. They can look up definitions and check the local library’s catalog for books on the topic for further reading. For example, a show covers a variety of music genres is an opportunity for kids to go online to listen to songs from the related genres and learn about the history of the music.
Discover culture: Watch the news, documentaries, historical programs and music. More TV programs explore different cultures in terms of history, music, food and more.
Solve problems: Characters often face challenges and work to overcome them. Parents can use these problems as a way to talk to their kids about their experiences.
Learn good social skills and teamwork: Friendship is a frequent theme, which teaches how to work together, play fair and understand what other people are feeling – something that would boost a child’s emotional intelligence.
Always bear in mind to balance the TV time with physical activities, reading, playing with non-electronic toys and going outside. Kids also learn from parent behavior.
Alissa Leigh is a freelance writer, led a study that appeared in Pediatrics and reported that parents make a difference in ensuring their children benefit from watching television by talking to them about the program, encouraging them to interact with the show by singing, dancing and saying words, watching a variety of program types and monitoring what they watch and how to promote emotional intelligence.