The Christian Broadcasting Network


Seven Tips to Tame the TV Monster
in Your Home

By New Life Ministries

CBN.com1. Don’t use the TV as a baby-sitter. Usually, parents are extremely careful about choosing a baby-sitter and a day care for their children. Why are we not as careful about choosing the programs our children watch on TV?

2. Know what shows your kids are watching on TV. It is vitally important to know the content of every program your child watches. For younger children, videos are much easier to monitor. Ask the question, ‘Is the content in line with our moral guidelines?’ If TV is not working to enhance your values, it may just be working to oppose your values – and charging you a lot for it. Throw away the remote, or at least save it only for Dad, when he must watch two football games at the same time!

3. Don’t put a TV in your child’s bedroom. A TV in your child’s bedroom is a big no-no. You won’t be able to monitor the content, and your kids will be drawn to their rooms at the expense of family interaction. A TV in the bedroom is a far too attractive temptation that easily interrupts such important matters as sleep, schoolwork, reading and interaction with others.

4. Set limits on TV time. What are your guidelines, rules and expectations for TV viewing? Can your children watch TV before school? How about before homework is finished? How many hours a day can the TV be on? Setting limits may be a challenge to your whole family, but when the limits are followed consistently, the results make them well worth it.

5. Make an appointment with the TV. It’s a good idea to be proactive about your TV use and misuse. Many healthy families pull out the TV guide on a weekly basis and make TV appointments for the week. This monitors what shows your family is watching and how often, and it can make watching a TV program a family activity. Not too much butter on the popcorn though! Mom and Dad, why don’t you make appointments with the TV, too? What children see, children do.

6. Dialogue with your children about TV shows. All television is educational. The question is, ‘What does it teach?’ Recently, I gave in to watching a movie on TV under the condition that afterward we would discuss it and react to it. Thankfully, the movie wasn’t as gross as I thought it would be, and together we debriefed the themes and content over frozen yogurt. We turned a mediocre movie into a first-rate learning experience.

7. Make the VCR your friend. If you can’t watch the few good shows on TV because of your family’s schedule, then tape them and watch them as a family – the VCR can be your friend.

Excerpted from 10 Building Blocks to a Happy Family by Jim Burns.

New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women, and relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit

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