How to Create Good TV Habits in Your Children

It's important for children to grow up with good TV habits. It's true that there are some good programs on TV, but you mustn't overdo it!
How to Create Good TV Habits in Your Children
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

There’s no doubt that television has brought tremendous benefits to our society. It acts as a means of entertainment to keep us in a good mood, transmits information around the world in a highly efficient way, and can even be a means of bonding with friends and family. But what are your family’s TV habits?

As with anything in life, too much of a good thing can be bad. Television is often used as an escape from reality. Children with bad TV habits spend less time studying and socializing.

We can’t overemphasize the importance of good TV habits in a child’s life, because it could mean the difference between a successful academic and social life or a passive downward spiral. Parents can develop and instill good TV habits in their children at home by following these simple techniques. Let’s have a look at the whole subject.

Good TV habits: Read a book instead

Reading a book is a great alternative to watching TV; they’re easy to find and they’re cheap. The only downside is that many children find reading boring. Taking time during the formative years to cultivate a love of reading in your child can help tremendously in the long run.

Reading stories with your child can teach them that books are fun and exciting; a portal to another world. Parents can set an example by frequently reading books themselves and designating time after school to be used solely for reading. Children hold their parents in high esteem and often imitate the activities they see them doing.

How to Create Good TV Habits in Your Children

To further motivate children, parents can take them to the bookstore at least once a month and let them choose a book. Children’s books cover a wide genre of topics, such as horror, fantasy, and adventure. Children have different tastes, and allowing them to choose their own books will fuel their desire to read.

Sport as an alternative to TV

Children often spend too much time watching television to quench their boredom. Introducing children to sports can eliminate the need for excessive television viewing. Basketball, baseball, soccer, or even martial arts can be very appealing to children.

Allowing your child to choose the sport they like will further increase their interest. Sports can have tremendous benefits in developing physical strength, coordination, and teamwork, and this will give your child a certain edge in life.

Musical instruments

Fostering a love of music and teaching children to play a musical instrument can improve TV habits, but the benefits don’t end there. Playing an instrument can have a wonderful impact on developing creativity.

Parents can begin the process by showing their children videos of professional musicians playing different instruments. Children are very impressionable and witnessing such an amazing spectacle could trigger an inner desire to achieve the same feat.

The parent should look to have a conversation with their child and then let them choose whatever instrument they like, as long as it’s within their budget!

It’s important for children to choose the instruments themselves. Otherwise, they’ll quickly lose interest and justify giving up playing by saying it wasn’t the instrument they wanted in the first place. When this happens, positive reinforcement and constant reminders of the benefits and success the instrument will give them can help keep them motivated.

Establish a schedule

Setting a schedule can stop excessive television viewing. Parents can sit down with their child and plan a schedule, making sure they set a realistic schedule that takes into account their child’s entertainment needs as well as their study time.

How to Create Good TV Habits in Your Children

Allowing your child to be involved in making the schedule can further improve compliance. Once you’ve made the schedule, you should place it in full view in front of the television. You should strictly adhere to it for the next few weeks, as the child might think it’s up for negotiation!

It’s important to be resolute because, if the child finds that it’s easy to manipulate their parent, then the parent will lose trust and respect. After months of regular use, you could allow your child to manage their own time and remove the schedule.

Freedom with reasonable limits on television viewing habits

In this method, the parent places full confidence in the child and their ability to manage their time. A greater will and determination to succeed in school, and the desire for self-improvement will generally emerge if you use this technique.

The child is given freedom, within reasonable limits, as to the amount of time they can spend watching television. This can empower children, giving them greater freedom and self-confidence.

However, some will take advantage of this opportunity and start to get bad grades at school.

When this happens, parents should allow their child to have to deal with the consequences, such as attending classes for extra tuition. This can be an important turning point in the child’s mindset and for improving their TV habits.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.