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Television is a fairly inescapable part of contemporary culture. This section has useful tips and strategies for parents and teachers who are trying to establish appropriate rules and boundaries for children and youth of all ages.

Most of us have happy memories of watching television with our families when we were young. But what was once a simple shared pastime has become an increasingly complex—and sometimes problematic part of modern family life.

Television is an inescapable part of modern culture. We depend on TV for entertainment, news, education, culture, weather, sports—and even music, since the advent of music videos.

Television is one of the most prevalent media influences in kids’ lives. According to the 2011 Active Healthy Kids Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, Canadian youth ages 6-19 average about six hours of screen time per day, with TV programs (watched on a variety of different screens) accounting for much of this time. [1]

Parents of young children need to actively manage and control TV viewing in the home. Children need a variety of activities for healthy development and television can be a fun and educational part of a child’s daily routine, if managed properly.

Television viewing generally drops during adolescence as young people start to spend more time socializing, doing schoolwork, and using other media, such as music, video games, computers and the Internet.