The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has offered ten suggestions to parents:
1. Set an example: Don't leave the TV on all the time, even when you're eating or engaged in other activities. Select specific programs for information or entertainment, and don't watch "adult" programs when children are present.
2. Don't use TV as a baby-sitter: Keep interesting items handy as an alternative to TV, such as jigsaw puzzles, board games, crayons, pencils, paper, books, and magazines.
3. Reject all other violent "media": Make it a family rule that violence has no place in your home, whether on video tapes, video games, radio programs, music lyrics, or reading materials.
4. Schedule daily activities: Teach your child to plan a daily after-school schedule in which TV fills only a small block of time-or perhaps none!
5. Plan a weekly TV schedule: Sit down each week with your child and choose suitable children's and family programs from the weekly TV listings.
6. Use TV to teach: Children interpret what they see differently than adults. They may not be able to distinguish fiction from fact, and something you think is funny may terrify a child. Therefore, it's a good idea to watch programs with your child and explain the difference between news and entertainment, reality and make-believe, education and exploitation. Discuss programs with your children and compare your family values with those shown on TV.
7. Keep an eye on the tube: Locate the family TV in a central location where you can monitor who is watching what. Children should not have TV sets in their bedrooms, although radios may be permitted and books are encouraged. Watch and evaluate new programs--even cartoons--before you let your child tune in.