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Kahaani Poori Filmy Hai!!!

“Mumma, what does ‘sharaabi’ mean?? “Asks Little Miss M. Totally blocked, I have no idea how to react or what to answer her.. I ask her from where she learned this word, she starts singing “balam pichkaari…. to seedhi saadi chhori sharaabi ho gai”. Thanks to Bollywood music these days, kids are having their own list of vocabulary now!!

8 Tips For Teaching Good TV Habits: Allotting TV Time For Kids

Since everyone at home is a movie and television buff, I won’t be surprised if miss M would learn other things from it as well. Being a joint family, everyone has a personal television and none other than M takes the most advantage out of it. I have made it a rule to keep the TV shut in her presence but of course can’t implement the same on everyone.

She has started recognizing the songs just by listening to the prelude, (can’t blame her, its in her genes… like mother, like daughter), hope she will be the same when it comes to reciting her poems.. knows all the tag lines of advertisements, identifies the characters of daily saas-bahu soaps, would you believe, she was asking me the other day, “anandi” nai, “madhubaladekhna hai!!

Had it been some cartoon characters, it wouldn’t be surprising. I think soon even she will start overacting like them. 😉 .. (no offence to anyone). I wonder, why do all the peppy numbers have to be item songs only or have foul language in it?

Obviously, we can’t always switch off the TV or radio. I won’t be surprised if M comes up with her “munni” or “sheila” step soon!! To be very honest, I love watching movies and hit the theaters almost every weekend. Most of the times, I ensure that M is with her grandparents at home but sometimes if I have to take her along, it has to be the last show so that she sleeps, but, she wouldn’t blink her eye even for once. Now, what do I say – “Maa kasam…filmy hai!!” 😉

As per a survey, two-third of the infants and toddlers watch a screen on an average of 2 hours a day, kids under the age of 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs. Kids and teens between 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games.

The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development. As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family.

Of course, TV in moderation can be a good thing. Television viewing enhances cognitive development and conveys knowledge, skills and information to the child. It motivates learning and imparts general awareness. But despite its advantages, too much television can be detrimental. Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight. Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior. TV characters often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.

So I think in a typical-TV-loving-Indian-family (like mine’s), where nothing much can be done to keep the child away from the idiot box, but here are a few tips for teaching good TV habits:

  1. Limit the number of TV-watching hours.
  2. Stock the room in which you have your TV with plenty of other non-screen entertainment (books, kids’ magazines, toys, puzzles, board games, etc.) to encourage kids to do something other than watching the tube.
  3. Keep TVs and internet connections out of bedrooms.
  4. Turn the TV off during meals.
  5. Don’t allow kids to watch TV while doing homework.
  6. Treat TV as a privilege to be earned — not a right. Establish and enforce family TV viewing rules, such as TV is allowed only after the homework and chores are completed.
  7. Check the TV listings and program reviews ahead of time for programs your family can watch together (i.e., developmentally appropriate and nonviolent programs that reinforce your family’s values). Choose shows that foster interest and learning in hobbies and education (reading, science, etc.).
  8. Offer fun alternatives to television. If your kids want to watch TV but you want to turn off the tube, suggest that you all play a board game, start a game of hide and seek, play outside, read, work on crafts or hobbies, or listen and dance to music. The possibilities for fun without the tube are endless — so turn off the TV and enjoy the quality time together.

Till M does not know how to operate the remote for tuning into her favourite shows, there is still some respite!! Dunno how big a couch potato she will become in the coming years. As they say..“Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!!”

I am going to try the above mentioned tips, are you???

I am Nitika Sipani, an interior designer by profession, full-time job as of now is that of a mother of a 2-year-old daughter (Myra) whom I dearly call ‘Little Miss M’! Of all the jobs till date, this one is the most challenging and every day is a new learning experience!! I enjoy writing and have developed it as a hobby, would like to become a freelance writer someday! You can connect with me on my blog: Juss lik dat.