Top 10 Tips for Parenting Preschoolers


9
TV and Video Games are Great -- If Managed Correctly
Playing educational video games can be healthy for preschoolers, but parents should still monitor the games and limit the time spent playing.
Playing educational video games can be healthy for preschoolers, but parents should still monitor the games and limit the time spent playing.
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TV and video games frequently get a bad rap, but if used correctly, they can be valuable educational and developmental tools. Preschool age is the best time to best time to start developing your child's TV viewing habits. As they grow older, those habits will be harder to change [source: Media Awareness Network].

Make TV and video games an active -- rather than a passive -- experience. Ask your child questions about the TV shows and video games she enjoys ("What was your favorite part?" or "What do you think about that?"). Select positive shows that are heavy on education. If you get a healthy TV routine established, you may find your preschooler developing a better grasp of math and spelling, and having their interest sparked in other subjects [source: Bright Futures].

Of course, TV and video games should be balanced with other activities. In general, restrict your child's television watching to less than two hours per day [source: Canadian Paediatric Society: Media]. You might even consider a TV fast: Switch off the tube for a week or so to gauge television's prevalence in your lives.

You also have to monitor the content of the media your child consumes. You might prefer to steer your preschooler away from TV or video games containing violence, sexuality or cultural and gender stereotypes, or maybe you'd rather use those instances to teach her about your values. Before purchasing a video game, familiarize yourself with the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) guide, which rates games' age appropriateness and warns about elements that might be unsuitable for some people [source: ESRB].

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