TV Watching With My Preschoolers

After buying a DISH Network TV package, I have been loving TV! One of the benefits of being a stay at home mom is that I get to monitor my children’s activities, especially tv watching, throughout the day. I don’t have to worry about them picking up vulgar words or inappropriate actions they might see from telenovelas which are househelps’ fave afternoon watch. Believe me, I know several moms who come home aghast at the vocabulary their children have picked up while left to the care of helpers all day long. It’s great that they are exposed to a culture that is different from their own. It can be very educational, and as long as it’s educational, I have no problem with it. There are even shows that I didn’t even know existed until the househelp told us about it; she even told us how to go on to a VPN and access these shows through our streaming services. It made me realize that there were so many different shows that were great for kids that we were missing out on. You can access them too, go now on to a VPN, open up your streaming app, and see the different shows for your little ones.

  1. Watch with Your Children. Televisions often become babysitters when parents need to finish some chores, but this shouldn’t be the case. Even if they’re watching cartoons or an educational show, sit beside your children and take time to ask questions or to discuss what they are watching. So, make sure you check your Dish TV packages to see if they are child-friendly and entertaining. Most of the time, I’m preparing answer keys or drafting articles on my lappy while the kids are watching television. That way, they know that I’m also enjoying TV time with them and I get to interact with them while doing my work.
  2. Be Selective in Choosing Programs. Not all cartoon programs are meant for little children. Even some cartoon shows on kiddie channels exhibit some sort of violence and bad behavior that very young kids might imitate. Choose interactive programs that prompt the children to answer questions or repeat words and phrases. My preschoolers watch several programs on three kiddie channels. Among their favorites in our certified mommy&kids-approved list are:
    • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Disney Junior)
    • Umizoomi (Nick Jr.)
    • Dora the Explorer (Nick Jr.)
    • Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior)
    • Jake and The Neverland Pirates (Disney Junior)
    • Tayo the Little Bus (Disney Junior)
    • Hi-5 (used to be shown on Nick Jr but will preview on Disney Junior next week)
    • Special Agent Oso(Disney Junior)
    • Baby Chef(Baby TV)
    • Oliver(Baby TV)
  3. Opt for DVDs or VCDs. If you have no cable service, I’d highly recommend you purchase or rent some DVDs instead. And even if you do have cable TV, it’s also great to have their fave shows ready for viewing anytime. Our DVD collection mainly consists of Barney, Hi-5, Walt Disney Classics, Disney Pixar Movies, and VeggieTales. We also have several classic musicals, such as Orphan Annie, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music, that I let the children watch. Yes, my preschoolers know Annie, Mr. Warbucks, Maria, and the Von Trapp children and can pretty much sing most of the songs in the musicals we grew up with.
  4. Set a Limit on TV Time. Please don’t raise future couch potatoes by leaving your kids in front of the television the entire day. Try to regulate TV time to no more than two hours per day. Also, give them breaks in between. Turn off the TV or take time to engage them in conversation for a few minutes after about 15-30 minutes of television. What I do with my kids is I ask them questions about the program they’ve just seen, reinforce lessons learned(if there are any), or repeat movements they’ve seen on the show.

Ideally, young children should not be allowed to watch television at all. However, there are now plenty of really educational shows that can be viewed by children and that provide them learning opportunities. Just do remember to regulate television watching and never ever let your television babysit for you.