Talk Back to Television!
While we would never advocate talking in movie theatres, we do advocate "talking back" to your TV while watching with your family. While in many cases (an engrossing movie, for instance) you should wait for the commercial break, sometimes it is best to make comments right away during the show. Making comments back to "talking heads" and commenting on silly claims made in commercials helps children know that it isn't true just because it was on TV, and helps them draw a line between the tube and their own thinking.
- Watch commercials with your child. Help them to identify what is being sold and how, talk about exaggerated or misleading claims.
- Tell your children about a toy or product you bought that you were disappointed in.
- Visit a TV studio or show children books about TV production. Watch "behind the scenes" programs that show how stunts and special effects are done, emphasize how fake the action and stunts are.
- Do not allow your child to watch programs you strongly oppose and explain why to your child. When something happens on a show that promotes values that differ from yours, talk to your child about it while the program is still on.
If you are watching a program that shows a violent act, talk to your child about other ways to solve problems without hurting others. Use issues in television programs as an opening for family discussion!
Talking With Kids About Violence
How to Talk to Your Kids About the News
Tips for Parents with Children Who See Difficult Images on Television