Many TV programs have educational or social value. But watching more than an hour a day encourages children to “zone out.” Their brains are not actively engaged. Their eyes watch pictures change rapidly on the screen. As a result, they can’t focus for more than a few seconds.

Research shows that watching lots of TV can make it harder for children to learn how to read. Instead of seeing whole words, which makes reading go smoother, they see bunches of letters. Reading becomes something painful instead of something fun.

Some things to consider:

  • If your child asks to watch TV, offer something else. Read to her, play a game or go for a walk.

  • List acceptable TV shows for your child. Have her choose one or two and plan to watch them. Keep the TV off at all other times.

  • Reward your child with a trip to the library instead of using TV time as a reward.

  • Don’t put a TV in your child’s bedroom.

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