Watching TV with your grade school-aged kids should be a fun family activity spurred by shows that are fun, educational, non-violent and G-rated. But many Circle of Moms members whose kids are in this age range say that TV-watching is a drag for everyone because they are constantly censoring what pops up on the family TV.
As Nancy B. explains, "Anything that has aggression has to be nixed because our son tries it on our daughter and acts it out.” And Shannon B. worries that her 7- and 8-year-olds want to watch shows like iCarly, Good Luck Charlie, and Wizards of Waverly Place that "promote boyfriend relationships, kissing, and crude name calling" Patricia B. agrees, and wonders, "Am I sheltering my kids and should [I] let them watch these kinds of shows. . .?”
Here, Circle of Moms members offer their insights on how to best monitor grade school-aged children’s viewing habits, as well as suggestions for movies and TV shows that are appropriate at this age.
1. Set Limits
The first step to making sure your child is watching age-appropriate TV and seeing the right movies, is to set rules and limitations for what stations he can and can’t watch, says Victoria M. “There are certain shows we just won't allow them to watch, many of which we won't watch either. I believe that whatever your convictions are, you should stick with that. I don't worry that some kids at their school or at our church are allowed to watch shows they are not, or that my kids are allowed to watch shows some other kids are not. . . If they are watching an off limits show [or channel] they get in trouble." She makes sure the punishment fits the crime: "grounding them from TV.”
Julianne D. suggests eliminating the channels you do not want your child to see: "We went with the easy solution and got rid of the cable. I buy movies we approve of and I have final say on, and the rest is just not available.” Similarly, Jane S. and her husband "set up a TV/VCR combo for the kids to use and made sure they had plenty of G-rated movies to watch."
Lisamarie C. recommends sticking to the classics, “like Disney movies," and adds that time limits are important. “I don't let my kids watch more than two or three hours of TV a day."
2. Watch with Your Kids
It’s also important to watch TV and movies with your children to see what is out there and select the best choices for viewing, suggests a Circle of Moms member named Heather. “I like a lot of cartoons, so I watch with the kids half the time."
3. Provide Alternative Activities
Stephanie W. suggests enabling your kids to spend more time on other activities, like reading, or going to the park, so that they aren't automatically drawn to the TV for entertainment. “We are very careful what we let our kids watch. . . .the TV just stays off most of the time. They NEVER complain, and seeing how the TV is off we spend so much family time together. [We play] hide and seek in the dark and even my teen’s friends want in on the action. We have grown so close and every time the TV is on we have a rule about language or non modest things and turn the channel or turn it off.”
4. What to Watch
To help moms with the search for shows and movies that are good for grade school kids, Circle of Moms members offer these suggestions: Jane S. likes Bob the Builder and Full House; Carla M. recommends Wonder Pets, and Barbara, who has an eight-year-old, likes Scooby Doo and Bugs Bunny. Nancy B. is among many who like Disney movies, Veggie Tales, Barbie, CareBears, and Winnie the Pooh.
5. Set a Good Example
Above and beyond the tips above, several moms mention the importance of setting a good example. "Don’t be a couch potato yourself!" says Carlin H.
What TV shows and movies do you like for your grade-schooler?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.