Now anyone with a high-speed Internet connection can find out what's on TV, watch a favorite show online, and read about the stars that make it great. In this guide, you'll learn about the history of television, how to find reviews, and how to keep your kids safe while watching cable. You can even learn about the pixels and wires that make the whole thing work.
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Questionable content and extended viewing hours have made television the subject of much debate, particularly with respect to how it impacts developing children. In this section, we'll point you to studies of the effects of television on children, and give you some advice on monitoring and controlling what your children watch.
- Because the Internet makes it easier to download and watch programs online, the computer is quickly becoming another medium you should monitor as your child develops. Be mindful of what your kids are watching both on the TV and on their computers.
- Having basic familiarity with what's on TV helps you decide what you want your child to watch. Reading the reviews listed earlier in this guide can help you to determine if material is appropriate.
For information on the effects of TV on kids ...
American Academy of Pediatrics
is one of the foremost authorities on the role of television in child development. This site has an overview of the subject, accompanied by a list of things parents can do to foster good television-watching practices for their children.
provides an overview of how television affects children. The article covers the correlation between childhood obesity and hours spent watching television. It also addresses the effect of watching violence on TV, and includes guidelines for healthy habits you can instill in your child.
University of Michigan Health System
published this article, which outlines the effects of television on children. The article is presented in a similar format as the discussion from KidsHealth.org, though it takes more of a medical perspective. The article is filled with statistics and complete citations, offering a cautionary view on the negative effects of too much TV on young viewers.
For parental controls ...
Cable in the Classroom
and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association present this site, designed to teach parents how to control the programming their children see on digital cable. In the "Controls" section
there's an introduction to parental controls and the ways in which you can program your cable to restrict certain types of shows. The "Choice" section
serves as a guide to family and kid-suitable programming, and the "Education" section
helps you to learn more about the issue.
The TV Parental Guidelines
provides a detailed breakdown of the television rating system. This site explains what type of content to expect.
For consumer information ...
(Federal Communications Commission) provides consumer facts about children's educational television. In addition to providing an overview of the Children's Television Act of 1990, the site addresses core programming, commercial time limits, and programming obligations.
Need a new cable provider and want to ensure that you're getting the service that's right for you? ... read more »
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