Top TV tips for your toddler:

  • be in charge of what they watch right from the start
  • watch TV with them so you can talk about the programme together, then switch it off
  • choose programmes made for their age group – those with lots of activity for them to copy and the repetition that they love at this age
  • don’t let them watch more than an hour a day (that will probably be as much as you can stand anyway!)
  • don’t get into the habit of using the TV as a ‘babysitter’ while you catch up on the housework or make a phone call.

Most television programmes don’t wait for your toddler to catch up and work out what’s going on. There are a few programmes, though, that do engage a toddler’s attention and teach new ideas, songs and stories. They will enjoy them more if you watch with them and talk about what you see. Some DVDs become like favourite books and are watched over and over. Perhaps, not only because toddlers like consistency, which gives them a sense of security in the world, but also because they understand more of what’s happening every time they watch. TV and DVDs are a useful babysitter when you’ve got something you need to do, but they can’t beat the fun and learning that they gain from interacting with people in the real world – the best way for them to develop their language and social skills!