Television as a Tool for Parent and Child
Television can be used as a tool to teach effective parenting skills, if you do so correctly. There are plenty of family-friendly TV shows and educational programs that can be beneficial for both parents and children.
If you have toddlers, then choose television shows that are interactive with your child. Although these television programs are designed to be educational and informative for your toddler, it actually can serve as an education tool for yourself as a parent as well. Tot-friendly shows, such as cartoons, tend to follow the same pattern of singing a lot, repeating actions and asking toddler to repeat as well. If you utilize this same kind of technique with your child, you can teach them their alphabet, numbers, colors and much more. Learning needs to be like a game and tot TV shows know how to implement this effectively. It’s important that you sit down with your child when their favorite shows are on and pay attention to their techniques. Pay attention to the techniques that worked well with your child. Did he like when the characters sang? Did he like when they asked them to repeat after them? Find something you want to teach your child and then use that same technique when teaching it, such as singing your colors or repeating animal names.
If your child is older, it is still important to monitor what television programs they are watching as well. It is a good idea if you sit down with them and discuss what is going on during the show. Was there a conflict that needed to be resolved and the characters handled it in an effective way? Discuss this with them and mention this could be a way they resolve conflict in the future as well. Television shows are filled with examples of how to handle situations or act with respect. At the same time, if you find something inappropriate, this is the perfect time to talk over the television situation with your child and talk about ways that it could be better. It can also be useful for yourself as a parent to learn about ways to talk with your child, interact with him during conflict and approach difficult situations.
You can extend educational opportunities learned during TV time after you turn off the TV as well. If you and your child just watched a television documentary on crocodiles, then you can do some crocodile activities afterward. Take out the coloring book and have them color a crocodile page. Or pull out your television journal and have them journal about their experience with the show they just watched and what they learned from it. Your kids can even put on their own TV shows and record them on videotape. As the parent, you are the director. You can learn video tips by watching the television programs, then putting them to use as you create your own shows. It is a fun way to combine television and education into one, for both you and child.
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