Television viewing has grown steadily since the first sets were introduced in the late 1920s. American kids aged 2-18 now spend an average of 5:29 hours using media each day, with the lion’s share of that attributed to TV. Studies show extensive viewing may be to blame for aggressive or violent behavior, poor academic performance, precocious sexuality, obesity and substance abuse.
How do you respond to these studies? Most parents fall somewhere between tossing out the TV and hiring it as a full-time babysitter. Yet few are comfortable with their family viewing habits. Thanks to a long-running public debate, we have a wealth of good advice to draw from. Here’s some of the best: