Smart Family Television: Develop Better Practices

Jun 18, 2013

Most of us count on our TVs to entertain us and to keep us informed. But like any technology, our televisions should complement our lives, not run them. Good viewing practices can help make TV a smarter experience for the whole family.

Establishing smart family television rules about what and when to watch, and setting appropriate examples in your own viewing, can help every member of the household develop good TV-watching practices.

Establish Guidelines Early With Young Children

When your child is properly guided, watching television can positively impact his or her social, emotional, and mental development. To help establish proper TV practices:

  • Watch educational television alongside your young child and help reinforce the teachings of the show.
  • Explain the difference between fantasy and reality. Even children’s shows can contain disturbing concepts (for example, when a beloved character experiences a loss), and young children are sometimes frightened by characters intended to be benign.
  • Don’t move bedtimes for television watching. Instead, record the desired show for later viewing.

Use TV as a Teaching Tool

As children reach school age and become more independent, set parameters for television time and which shows are acceptable, and make sure you make the rules clear to any childcare providers, so they may enforce them as well. Basic guidelines include:

  • Require that homework be done after school, before the TV can be turned on.
  • Continue to supervise viewing choices and make sure your child understands when a show is “for grown-ups” and not yet appropriate for him or her. You might even make a game out of judging whether a show is acceptable. Let family members voice their opinions before reaching a verdict. And if you have an LED TV Series 7/8 Smart TV, you can make the final ruling more dramatic. Because these models respond to hand gestures, you can use a literal thumbs-up to register a show as one of your “likes.”

Encourage Discussion With Older Kids

Of course, older children will have more television freedom than younger children, but you should continue to stay informed about the content your kids choose to watch.

  • Ideally, watch a show yourself, to avoid making judgments before you know the full scope of the show. Even if you are not restrictive, talk to your son or daughter if you think his or her viewing choices warrant discussion. What appeals to him or her about a show? What, specifically, concerns you?
  • Encourage the involvement of friends and extended family in your kids’ television choices—they might be more likely to share with a close relative or family friend than with their parents. Some TVs can even facilitate interaction—for example, a Smart TV Series 7/8 has a social screen that connects with apps such as Skype, Facebook, and Twitter and can let you know what television shows friends are watching or recommend. Use this capability to stay informed and to spur discussion about TV choices.

Create Family Television Rituals

“Must see” family shows, historic televised events—and even your own vacation photos—provide opportunities for bonding in front of the TV screen. Create good practices such as:

  • Watching television actively, not passively. Most digital television services allow you to pause your show in the middle of the action so you can review any content that seems to warrant family discussion, such as a character’s upsetting actions or a disturbing news item. Alternately, use the commercial breaks for discussion; just lower the volume on the TV.
  • Taking advantage of your television’s features for enhanced family togetherness. For example, some televisions let you watch your teens’ or their friends’ YouTube videos, or relive your child’s birthday party through photographs.

By setting a good example, starting early, and continuing to participate in and encourage good choices, you’ll help instill smart lifelong television-watching practices. And look to Samsung LED TV Series 7/8 Smart TVs to get the best quality from your family’s time in front of the screen.

* Certain features within Smart TV services require Internet access and may not be available, based on service provider, language, dialect, or region.