Does the TV dominate your house? Are your kids always glued to their favourite programmes? Do you always have something better to do than play with your kids?
Follow this 7-Step Plan to make the TV work for you and your family…
1. Keep to the rules
Make positive decisions about how the TV is watched. Decide when you want your child to watch and when you don’t. Stick to your house rules and don’t change them, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
2. Don’t let the housework get in the way
Set yourself a time limit for chores, like cleaning or ironing. You’ll be much more productive, if you know you’ve only got 60 minutes to do it all.
3. Set an alarm
You need to motivate yourself to stop once the time is up. Remind yourself that you’ll always have housework to do, but your child won’t be small for long.
4. Tidy isn’t always best
Think home, not vacuum cleaner. Making your house spotless won’t impress your kids. It’s the experiences you share that make a family fantastic, not tidy toy boxes.
5. Turn it off
Switch off the TV for 24 hours. Prove to yourself and your child that the box isn’t the most important object in the house.
6. Do unto yourself…
Be a role model to your child. Check your own TV habits – do you leave it on all the time and just flick channels when something finishes? Good habits are caught, not taught.
7. Get outside
Get out of the house at least once a day. It’s much easier to be a fun mum when you don’t have housework or other things that need doing to distract you.
More help and advice
Lorraine Thomas, childcare expert