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A Guide to Managing Television: Tips for Your Family

How can we limit the amount of time spent watching TV?

How can we keep TV from dominating our family life?

How do I stay involved with what my kids are watching?

How do I guide my child's TV viewing?

How do I set a good example for my kids?

How do I help my children plan their TV viewing?

What about children under age two?

With television programs—and now even a cable channel—designed specifically for babies, TV for kids under two years of age becomes an even bigger issue.  The American Academy of Pediatrics takes a “better-safe-than-sorry” stance on TV for babies [3]:

“Children of all ages are constantly learning new things. The first 2 years of life are especially important in the growth and development of your child's brain. During this time, children need good, positive interaction with other children and adults. Too much television can negatively affect early brain development. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important.

“Until more research is done about the effects of TV on very young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television for children age 2 or younger.”

How can our family use TV to our benefit as a learning tool?

How can we keep television in perspective? 

Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., past president of the American Medical Association, in her Smart Parents’ Health Source column [5], suggests that:
“A good question to ask in every household—if a child (or an adult) wasn't watching TV, what else could he or she be doing?”

Where can I find more information?



Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, R.N.  Reviewed by Bethany J. Sallinen, Ph.D.
Updated July 2009

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