CMCH Suggestions: Be a Media Role Model

The kind and amount of media parents use influences their children in many ways. Studies have shown that when children are very young, they may get distracted from their play if television is on in the background. Also, parents might not respond to their children as best they can if they are distracted by media.

Parents can model healthy media habits in a number of ways:

  • By limiting their own media use.

  • By exercising good judgment about the programs they watch when their children are present.

  • By co-viewing, or watching TV with their children and discussing what they are watching together. In this way, parents can model critical thinking about media content.

  • By modeling alternative activities, such as reading, playing sports, or participating in community activities.

Parents are the ones who establish the home media environment. They decide how many TV sets are in the household, how often the TV is on, and whether or not children are allowed to have TV sets in their bedrooms.

All of these decisions strongly influence their children’s exposure to media. Parents can promote healthy media use by keeping TV sets and computers in central locations and out of children’s bedrooms and by turning TV sets off during mealtimes and when no one is watching.


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CMCH is supported in part by the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Comcast, Google, The Stuart Family Foundation, The Norlien Foundation, Cisco, and other generous donors.

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