Skip Nav
Kid Shopping
Let Amazon Do All the Work For You — Here Are Its Picks For Top 100 Toys of 2018
Home Shopping
Parents Can't Get Enough of These Cozy Bean Bags That Turn Into Full-Size Beds
Halloween Costumes 2018
These Easy Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween Costumes Will Make Kids Scream "All Aboard!"
Take Me to Your Leader, Target! These Halloween Drinking Glasses Are Perfection
Halloween Merchandise Is Popping Up All Over Disneyland, and We'll Take It All, Please

Why Kids Shouldn't Watch TV

I'm Really Strict With My Kids About Watching TV, and Here Are My 3 Main Rules

I've always been strict about TV time in our house. We don't have cable, we only own one TV (my husband and I don't even have one in our bedroom), and it's rare that you'll find the TV on during the day other than for the morning news or a big sporting event. And when it comes to my kids, I'm just as strict. Call me crazy, but it's just what works for us. Instead of being glued to the screen and not talking for hours on end, we read, do crafts, and overall, just have independent play time.

While this might sound a tad over-the-top, my kids are actually totally fine with it. They rarely ask to watch TV, and on the occasion when there really isn't much to do, I tell them it's OK to be bored from time to time. It's in these moments that their imaginations really unfold. They go outside, explore, or play a game of "Monster" or "House." Having the TV on would just get in the way of all of that. Instead, watching TV is a special privilege and reward, or at times when mom is exceptionally desperate, a bribe (I have no shame in my game). To make sure this all stays consistent, my husband and I have come up with a few guidelines for TV watching in our house.

1. I Expect Chores to Be Done Before They Watch TV

Watching TV is a privilege, not a right. They need to pick up their toys and clean their rooms if they want to sit back, relax, and watch TV. I've found that it's not too much to ask, and it even gets the kids to clean up faster. Win, win!


2. They Get 1 Hour of TV a Week

I try to minimize the amount of TV the kids watch to one hour per week. Yes, sometimes we exceed this, but honestly, there are weeks when the kids don't even watch any TV at all. They're usually busy with school, homework, and activities that there's no time left for TV, and they don't mind.

3. I Monitor What They Watch

When my kids are allowed to watch TV, it's not a free for all. I find age-appropriate cartoons that have some kind of educational value. I don't always achieve this, but I've found that most shows — especially those found on PBS — teach kids good and essential lessons. And since my kids don't get much TV time per week, I want to make sure the time I do give them isn't wasted.

From Our Partners
How to Stay Within Your Budget Shopping at Target With Kids
Easy Ways to Calm Kids Down
Morning Routine For 3-Year-Old
Ways to Help Children With Anxiety
Parenting a Strong-Willed Child
Morning Routine With 8-Month-Old Baby
I'm a Special Needs Mom, and I Hate Birthday Parties
Anna Faris Quotes on Her Morning Routine
Jason Biggs Packing His Son's School Lunch Fail
Movies That Are Too Scary For Children
Fall Is the Best Time of Year to Be a Parent
Phrases to Calm an Angry Child
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds