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Try This: Judge Good TV Shows

3. How did the show make you feel?

Think about questions like:

Did the TV show make you mad or sad?

Did it make you want to hurt something or someone?

Did it make you feel good or bad about yourself or your friends and family?

Did it relax you?

Did it make you want to get up and move?

TV shows that are violent can make you violent, and shows that make you feel bad are a negative influence you don't need. They get a thumbs-down. Relaxing and moving are good for you. So shows that make you happy and calm get a thumbs-up. So do shows that make you want to move around.

4. What happened on the show?

Think about questions like:

Were the characters in the show nice or mean to each other?

Did the characters do things your parents wouldn't want you to do?

Was the TV show violent?

Watching TV that shows violence or other unhealthy habits can have bad effects on kids and parents, too. Who needs that? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, give the show a thumbs-down. Don't watch it next time.

5. What were the commercials during the show like?

Think about questions such as:

Were there too many commercials?

Did they advertise unhealthy products (like fast food or soda)?

Did the commercials make you want to buy the products they advertised?

Kids see a lot of commercials, and you may not notice the effect that they have on you. Be smart, and pay attention to what ads are trying to sell you. If you saw commercials for unhealthy foods and products and you had a hard time ignoring them, give the show a thumbs-down.

Smarter TV Watching

Since you shouldn't watch more than two hours of TV every day, check your list before you turn on the TV. Skip the thumbs-down shows. Use your TV time only for thumbs-up shows. But even when you watch good TV shows, don't watch for more than 30 minutes or one hour at a time.

Watching TV can be your treat after you finish all the important stuff -- like school, sports, activities, and homework. If you have a DVR, you can use it to record your favorite shows so you can watch them when it's OK for you. And you can also fast-forward through the commercials during your good TV shows so you don't have to waste time watching them.

See why it matters what you watch. Are TV and Video Games That Bad?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on October 19, 2015
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