Parenting

12 ways to keep your child away from TV

Ankita A Talwar
3 to 7 years

Created by Ankita A Talwar
Updated on Jun 20, 2014

12 ways to keep your child away from TV

With summer vacations on, keeping children away from the TV sets is not easy. They have their set of excuses—the weather is too hot to play outside, we are bored, what to do—for watching TV continuously for hours. But before your house becomes a battleground, we get you some strategies that will help you keep your child occupied and hence limit his TV watching.
1) Start the day early: Wake them early and take them outdoors while the sun is still bearable. Let them play on the swings, run around, get their hands dirty in the mud, or collect knick-knacks etc. This will tire them out and will get them to sleep through the hot afternoons. Evenings again can be planned on the terrace/balcony or at a friend’s house.
2) Set a timetable: Set a time table for your child. Look around for activities, classes, camps, sports coachings etc that she is interested in and get her enrolled. But do not force her. The time table should be relaxed and the child shouldn’t feel stressed out with it. Give them a choice on what they would like to do: try their hands at cooking or photography?
3) Keep them involved: Look for fun activities that will keep child engrossed. Paper machie, origami, clay, painting etc are some options. Get them board games, science kit sets or a large jigsaw that they can play with a friend or a sibling.
4) Plan an activity a day: Think of age appropriate activities for children and allot them according to days. One can be a room cleaning day, garden tending day, taking care of the pet day, cooking for family day. Start on the chore yourself and have them pitch in. Even three days a week will suffice.
5) Organize play dates: Organize play dates for children in the afternoon when they can’t go out. Have a themed play date, a fancy dress play date, a story telling session, or organize games for them such as making a tent out of an old bedsheet (tie it around furniture legs) and let them imagine it to be an army camp!
6) Let them enjoy: If she likes playing with water, set up a splash pool for her; if mud is what they like, let them get their hands and clothes dirty. Let the children have fun. These activities will keep the children busy for hours. Take necessary safety measures though such as keeping the pool in a shaded area or a bathroom.
7) Restrict family TV: It is not fair on the child that the mother or grandmother is watching TV while he is not allowed to. Communicate to the whole family that TV watching has to be controlled in the house. Be firm about it. And no meals in front of the TV. Let children make an effort to get up and eat food when hungry.
8) Include more family time: Make a conscious effort to provide the child with more family time. Go out together to a friend’s house, sit down for a meal together, ask them to help you arrange the table for lunch, go on a walk together. She will definitely prefer this to TV.
9) Have them watch programs and not just TV: Limit the mind-numbing content of cartoons. Instead, sit down together to watch a documentary or short film that is of his interest such as something on animals, space, machines, medical science etc. Or exchange rhymes and educational CDs with friends. Make a treat of this sort of TV watching. Sit down with popcorns and a shake.
10) Loosen your grip: Don’t make it a battle. Let him watch TV for sometime—maybe an hour. Keep a clock next to the TV to remind him when the hour is over. Also, do not let TV run in the background. Switch it off when not needed or the child will be tempted.
11) Be available to the children: House chores and cleaning can wait. This is more serious issue. Make an attempt to participate yourself or at least start them off on an activity such as a board game or a puzzle etc. Children require company.
12) Talk to them: Explain to them without exaggeration or threats, the disadvantage of excessive TV watching and how it will isolate them. Keep the tone level and understanding.
These tips though may sound difficult, once applied will eventually help you keep the child away from TV. But remember, most importantly the initiation has to come from you, the parent. You will have to become your child’s company—after all isn’t that better than she finding a friend in the idiot-box..

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| Dec 31, 2017

thanks ....I think it will work...

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| Dec 31, 2017

thanks ....I think it will work...

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| Oct 04, 2017

Thanks and will try..

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| Oct 04, 2017

Thanks and will try..

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| Oct 01, 2017

thanks for the best idea

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| Oct 01, 2017

thanks for the best idea

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| Oct 01, 2017

thanks for the best idea

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| Sep 29, 2017

thanks for guiding me. I will try.

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| Sep 29, 2017

thanks for guiding me. I will try.

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| Sep 29, 2017

thanks for guiding me. I will try.

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| Sep 21, 2017

thanks. l will do my best.

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| Sep 21, 2017

thanks. l will do my best.

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| Sep 06, 2017

thanks

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| Sep 05, 2017

Thanks for guiding me

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| Aug 21, 2017

thanku

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| Aug 21, 2017

thanku

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| Aug 15, 2017

Thank u. I hope it will be of gr8 help.

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| Aug 15, 2017

Thank u. I hope it will be of gr8 help.

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| Aug 11, 2017

Nice ideas.

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| Aug 01, 2017

very helpful tips

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| Aug 01, 2017

Thank u soo much. Your advice might really be helpful.

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| Jul 18, 2017

Thank u so much... definitely I will try these valuable ideas

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| Jul 18, 2017

Thank u so much... definitely I will try these valuable ideas

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| Jul 18, 2017

Thank u so much... definitely I will try these valuable ideas

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| Jul 12, 2017

How to control family tv time and the content they watch ??

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| Jul 12, 2017

usefull ideas

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| Jun 23, 2017

tnku. its very useful. idea. iwll try

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| Jun 21, 2017

awesome ideas

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| May 31, 2017

thnks it's very useful for me

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| Apr 05, 2017

tusm

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| Mar 04, 2017

Tysm

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| Jul 29, 2016

Making a timetable is a good idea , other things can be done during the vacation. Thanks for your suggestion.

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| May 16, 2016

Nice write-up. With the summer holidays setting in, we actually need to do alot with kids. I have been playing games like guess who, monopoly, tumblin monkeys, why connect, math puzzles, shape your story, monkey fractions, its great fun!! The best way to engage kids is stepping in their shoes and playing with them. For the little ones pretend play games and picture books with large texts is the best option. Subscribe https://www.friendlytoyz.com/toy-library.html

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| Apr 07, 2016

Hi very useful notes but can you tell how to control my one year old son from watching TV as my family members keep watching TV all through the day. He watches only what he likes not all .

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| Feb 08, 2016

Very useful and good article

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| Feb 08, 2016

Very nice will try defiantly. Thank for this article

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| Aug 17, 2015

Good ideas... will definitely try them..

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| Aug 13, 2015

Really good ideas to try..

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| Aug 13, 2015

Vy useful info.. but can u giv some ideas Whn there r two kids... how to spend time with bigger one... its vy difficult .small one has to give more attention nd bigger one get neglected. I need sme ideas regarding this issue.

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| May 29, 2015

Thanks for wonderful points.

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| Apr 27, 2015

I would want to hear a little more help, how to manage time with kids being working mom??

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| Apr 24, 2015

Really helpful

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| Apr 23, 2015

Thanks a lot for such a good article.

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| Apr 18, 2015

selah McKinley, I understand what you are saying her, but for this you need to get your husband's cooperation as bringing up a child has to be shared effort. You could request your husband to record his fave shows (new HD cable connections give you this facility) and watch them later when the child is asleep. Also, plan fun activities for the child and father to do together at home, so that they enjoy some time together and do not miss television. Also, children learn a lot from role modelling. If you suggest to your husband that he can watch one show, or TV for half hour, and then switch it off to explain to the child the correct way, the child too will learn to switch off the TV after a point. hope this helps.

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| Apr 17, 2015

Hi thank you for giving such valuable tips ...Will definitely try to follow ths

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| Apr 17, 2015

Hi Anita great advice but can you advice on how yo go about it with dads who loves watching TV and who loves sleeping too much so it doesn't influence the children upbringing

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| Feb 19, 2015

great and very important tips

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| Nov 07, 2014

Hi Subhash, You may also like Children and TV Viewing - https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/children-and-tv-viewing/199

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| Nov 06, 2014

superb article for universal problem of parent s

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| Jul 02, 2014

Thanks.... but it would have been great if the parentunite received this article with starting of the summer vacation

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| Jun 25, 2014

Fantastic ideas and absolutely can help parents to keep children away from TV.

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| Jun 21, 2014

Thanks for d insight .... sounds workable..

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| Jun 21, 2014

Thanks foe

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| Jun 04, 2014

Don't want to go early On bed like school days

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| Jun 04, 2014

Well written and very good tips. Thanks a ton

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| May 29, 2014

very useful tips.. Thank you

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| May 28, 2014

Hi Ankita, Thanks for giving us great tips. We all know some of them, but we cannot implement it. So, i will try to do it from today.

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| May 28, 2014

Great tips Ankita. Blogs such as these makes life easier for us ;)

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| May 28, 2014

Hi good article, but what about IPL CAN WE ALLOW THEM TO WATCH IT?

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| May 27, 2014

Hi Ankita, a very comprehensive and useful blog. With the vacations on, it is hard to keep children off TV, specially when its an only child. One really needs to make the effort to engage the child in other activities, as you have shared in the blog. Very well timed and very useful ..thanks

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| May 27, 2014

Very cool and gud ideas I'll surely try dem .thx

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| May 26, 2014

Good article. Planning a different household activity to involve the children is indeed a very good idea.

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| May 26, 2014

Very apt article as children these days are getting more and more addicted to TV's and have stopped indulging in outdoor games and activities. Thanks for sharing!

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| May 26, 2014

These indeed are very good strategies to follow. Thank you Ankita for sharing these with us! :)

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| May 26, 2014

good article

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| May 26, 2014

I have two children and they are always watching TV. it is such a problem. I will definitely try these ideas.

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| May 26, 2014

I think these ideas are very interesting. Thanks for sharing them!

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| May 26, 2014

Thanks for your inputs.... these suggestions will definitely be helpful as children nowadays are so addicted to TV.

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| May 26, 2014

Indeed a very well written article with exhaustive list of strategies to lessen hours of TV viewing in children. Wud like to add if it is possible and safe as well allow child's friends to visit him/her or vice versa. They can do activities such as dance, make craft, paint, play with toys,etc. One cud give instructions to organise room once they are done .

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