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Children spend more and more time in front of television. In fact, television in Spain has become the first alternative for children's entertainment: the 30 percent of children, according to research by the Institute of Creativity and Educational Innovations of the University of Valencia, affirms that lor the first thing they do as soon as they get home is turn on the television, a percentage that is well above those who listen to music (13.1 percent), read (10.9 percent), or play with their brothers or friends (18.8 percent).
According to a statistic prepared by the CIS (Sociological Research Center) on television and children, these are the figures that the relationship between television and children in Spain shows:
- Children between 4 and 12 years old spend 960 hours in school per year: practically the same hours as in front of the television.
- In Spain, 750,000 children watch television after 10 at night and 20,000 after midnight.
- Of the total time children spend watching television, only one 25 percent corresponds to children's programs.
- Two out of three Spanish parents openly acknowledge the CIS pollsters that they do not control what their children see.
- Only 30 percent of Spanish parents always or almost always watch television with their children.
- The 31.3 percent of children between 4 and 12 years old have a television in their bedrooms.
To watch television and understand it, you have to know it. Learn to watch it and teach your child. We select some healthy practices to learn to watch television:
- Parents must be aware that there are television content that may be inappropriate for children, and assume the responsibility of choosing the most suitable for each age.
- It is important to watch television with your children, and take advantage of their potential to create family communication around the programs and their content.
- It is convenient to explain to the child the difference between reality and fiction, to link the acts to the consequences, and to counteract everything that threatens elementary values.
- Parents must control the time children watch television, and be a reference for them.
- Sometimes, not only what children see can be counterproductive, but what children see that parents see. Consuming television unlimitedly and without criticism is not the best example.
- It is necessary that parents and teachers know the programming and maintain a critical attitude towards programs that promote stereotypes and inappropriate social models for the youngest.
- Television is not a babysitter; the temptation to resort to it as the only form of entertainment or fun should be avoided.
- Before turning on the television, it is important to know what you are going to watch, and not turn on the television to see what is there ... And to know when to turn it off.
- Let's try that television is not the center of the home; It should not be the only one that speaks, but a place for meeting and communicating with the family environment.
- When children watch television in their room, the ability of parents to supervise the contents diminishes.
- Children must learn to see advertising. It is parents and educators who must teach young people the reality of the commercial world.
- Television should never be used as a reward or punishment. In doing so, we make it the arbiter of family life and give the child a wrong idea about his true entity.
- Children have to sleep. Television should not interfere with the sleep schedules of our children in which, in addition, less indicated content is concentrated.
- Bridges should be sought between television and school: recover audiovisual education and develop didactic materials to make television a source of knowledge.
- The child lives in an audiovisual environment that can be decisive in their training. And we must learn to use the enormous potential that television has for the education or entertainment of our children.
1. Let's take advantage of your communication and socialization possibilities, in the family and at school.
2. The contents of the advertising will be clearly differentiated.
3. The institutions will be provided with surveillance and control bodies of the existing training on television.
4. All institutions promote audiovisual training more of parents, children and teachers.
5. We will not use television as a babysitter.
6. We were able to select the contents according to our interests and values.
7. We learn to use the enormous potential you have for the education or entertainment of children.
Conference summary "Television: Instructs or Destroys ?.
By D. Joaquín Arozamena, Journalist, writer and communication expert.
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