What can a parent do to help their child?
1) LIMIT TV TIME!
The AAP recommends fewer than 2 hours of TV per day. Parents seem to believe that their children will not agree to these limits- but elementary and middle school children can usually be persuaded to cut down on TV.
2) HELP YOUR CHILD MAKE A LIST OF OTHER ACTIVITIES TO DO INSTEAD OF WATCHING TV.
Have your child make a pie chart of what they do with their spare time and tell them the doctor says more than 2 hours of TV a day is unhealthy. Then fill in the pie chart with other activities. They can even interview a grandparent or great-grandparent about what they used to do before they had TV. Make trying new activities into a game.
3) DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO EAT IN FRONT OF THE TV.
Children (and adults) do not realize how many calories they consume when they watch TV. Don’t eat while distracted.
4) TEACH YOUR CHILD THE PURPOSE OF COMMERCIALS.
Explain that companies who produce unhealthy foods are trying to make money by tempting children with their commercials.
5) DO NOT PUT A TV IN YOUR CHILD’S BEDROOM.
When you put a TV in your child’s bedroom, you immediately lose control of how much your child is watching and also of what your child is watching.
6) MONTIOR YOUR CHILD’S TV USE.
The parent has to be responsible and has to be aware of how much TV a child is watching. A TV should not be a babysitter.