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While you can find hundreds of articles online telling you how you should cut back the amount of time your child watches television, that doesn’t mean that you should just sell your TV and ban the airwaves forever. Instead, find ways to make television watching a bonding experience with your family. It can be both educational and fun.
You don’t always have to watch kid’s shows. Children enjoy learning, they often enjoy sports, and they can also be pretty big fans of animals!
If there is someone in your house that is a sports junkie, you can help your child enjoy sports if you have great programming available on your TV. Children can learn about how a team scores, different ways that different sports are played and they can join in with rooting for the home team too.
Children enjoy learning, and you may find they also enjoy spending time with their family when it comes to fun activities like watching sports. It lets the adults and kids loosen up together and even bond over teams they like.
Watching Nature and Learning Shows
Nature shows are great as a learning experience. Children can learn all about different animals and different climates. Who knows, the adults in the house might learn something new too.
You can choose different learning shows for children of different ages. This doesn’t have to just be a bonding experience with younger children. Learning shows can be about science, history or anything else that teaches some sort of lesson.
With this type of show your family can have extra bonding time afterward when you take some time to discuss what everyone learned.
Watching the Classics
Something that can be really fun for children is having the chance to watch the TV shows that their parents grew up on. You can still find many older shows in syndication, from Roseanne to Little House on the Prairie. These shows will help teach children what the world was like when you were younger so they can see that different generations actually grow up differently.
Your children may be surprised to find out that you didn’t grow up with the luxury of smartphones and tablets.
Watching Their Favorites
Lead by example and let your children share with you their favorite shows. Not only will you show them that you enjoy spending time with them in their own little world, but you may come up with some interesting questions of your own about these kid’s shows.
There’s nothing childish about a parent watching cartoons and kid shows with their child, so don’t be afraid to embrace your own inner child and have a laugh at Spongebob Squarepants or go on an adventure with Dora the Explorer.
You can make this bonding time extra special and educational by making up games or crafts to go along with what you watch. You can also enjoy snacks together. Make up a mini-tailgate party when a game is on, or try a new cuisine from wherever Dora is visiting!
There are a lot of ways to watch television these days. Standard cable, online streaming, satellite, etc. These packages can be expensive, so don’t just rush out and buy the first all-encompassing package you find. Spend some time learning more about what each of your local providers offers as well as bundled rates, contract deals, etc.
There is also a lot of great content online. Your best bet may be to invest in something like Netflix that can stream through television or computers, and choose family friendly shows to watch together.
Photo credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr