But the bottom line is that TV is here to stay, and parents are the ones who must control its effects. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Read a TV schedule. Note worthwhile programs your child might enjoy.

  • Choose programs ahead of time with your child. This cuts down on wasted time in front of the set.

  • Consider limiting TV to weekends. At first, your child may be unhappy about this. But eventually he’ll find other fun ways to spend time.

  • Use the DVR. This allows your child to watch good programs no matter when they’re on. This works well with the weekend-only TV rule. You can also use the DVR to preview shows before your child sees them.

  • Watch TV as a family. You can monitor shows and discuss them with your child.

  • Talk about ads with your child. Are advertisers trying to appeal to kids her age? What techniques do they use to get her attention? Do any commercials take advantage of kids’ concerns, such as the desire to be popular?

  • Test products you see advertised. Your child will probably learn that commercials aren’t always truthful.

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