How to Set Television Rules for Your Kids

Kids love watching TV, but letting them regularly do it for extended periods of time can become a bad habit that's made even worse by the fact that growing kids need exercise. Today, many children spend a surprisingly large amount of time watching television each week - much more than the recommended dosage of only a few hours each day at maximum.[1] If your children seem to have a TV habit that's out of control, know that, with a few common sense tricks and some stern (but loving) rules, your children can be brought back down to healthy levels of TV time.


  1. Image titled Set Television Rules for Your Kids Step 1
    Start by making a chart. Set a predetermined amount of time for your children to watch television each day, and enforce the rule. No more than 2-4 hours is a good idea. Post the chart in a place where your children can see it (e.g. the kitchen fridge, bedroom door, etc.)
  2. Image titled Set Television Rules for Your Kids Step 2
    Talk with your kids. Make sure they understand that you are serious about these guidelines, and enforce that if they are caught watching television when not permitted, or banned, they can expect punishments.
  3. Image titled Set Television Rules for Your Kids Step 3
    Check to see if there is a Parental Control option on your television. This way, you can block certain channels while allowing full or limited access to others, most likely news, science, or kid-friendly. If such an option does not exist, however, write down a list of what channels they are permitted to view, and when.
    • When they're caught viewing dangerous / unapproved channels, follow through with punishments (grounding, timeouts, cancellation of privileges, extra chores, etc.)
  4. Image titled Set Television Rules for Your Kids Step 4
    Act as the administrator and make sure your children are following the rules. Check in with them every so often to ensure that they are watching the programs you have allowed them access to.


  • Some parents only allow television on weekends.
  • Many parents select and monitor EVERYTHING their children watch. Create family-viewing schedules for your children so you and your children can watch television together..


  • DON'T allow children to have televisions in their bedrooms. It's way too dangerous, since they're more likely to watch "dangerous and inappropriate" programs. Keep television in the living room so you can supervise them
  • NO television at all can sometimes be worse than too much television, since television is a "window" to the outside world.

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Categories: Family Life | Television