Watching television is a popular pastime for kids. However, too much TV can have negative effects.

As a parent, it’s important to set healthy limits on screen time.

In this post, we’ll explore what’s an appropriate amount of TV for children and how to create good TV viewing habits.

Which Time is Best To Watch TV For Kids?

The best time for kids to watch TV is in the early evening after schoolwork and chores are completed.

Morning time before school should be avoided, as should late at night before bed.

Watching TV earlier in the day is linked to difficulty focusing at school according to research.

Late night viewing can disrupt healthy sleep patterns that growing children need.

Limiting TV to the early evening hours allows kids time to play, socialize, and engage in hobbies first.

It also makes it easier to turn off the TV at a consistent time each night.

Some Suggestive Channels For Kids (Regarding Information or Education)

  • PBS Kids – Offers beloved shows like Sesame Street, Arthur, Cyberchase that mix education with entertainment.
  • National Geographic Kids – Provides engaging nature, science, and history content for kids.
  • Discovery Family – Features informative and entertaining shows on topics like engineering, design, and animals.
  • Disney Channel – A popular choice for preschool and elementary kids, with kid-friendly themes. Monitor age appropriateness.
  • Nickelodeon – Animated and live-action shows with a kid focus, mixed with ads. Supervise content.
  • Cartoon Network – Fun cartoons for all ages. Select age-appropriate shows and watch ads.

Educational streaming services like ABCmouse and PBS Kids are also great screen time options.

How Much Distance Is Required Between TV and Your Kid?

Experts recommend a distance of at least 5-6 feet between the TV and your kid, though further is even better. Sitting too close can strain the eyes and be overstimulating.

Using the 5-6 feet rule prevents the screen from dominating your child’s field of vision. It also allows them to get up easily to play or if they lose interest.

Make sure your child is not constantly leaning in toward the TV. Have them sit back against the couch or pillows. Get adjustable TV trays so they can sit further away.

Which Position Is Best for TV in Your Home?

The best position for a TV in a home with kids is mounted at a high level, above their eye line. Televisions at a low level or on stands at a child’s height can encourage more fixation.

Place the TV against a wall (like above a fireplace) or high on a shelf to minimize its prominence. Avoid putting it front and center in the room.

Turn the TV off when not in use. The background noise and images can distract kids even when they are not directly watching. Out of sight, out of mind.

Which Position Is Best For Kids to Watch TV?

Kids should sit back on the floor or on a couch when watching TV. Avoid letting them lie down or sit too close. Reclining encourages passive viewing for longer periods.

Position kids away from the screen’s center point for the best distance. Off to the side is optimal.

This prevents excessive eye movement trying to see different parts of the screen.

Let kids hold stuffed animals or toys they can fidget with while watching. This allows them to better absorb and process program content.

Should Kids Be Allowed To Use the Remote or Not?

It’s generally wise not to let young children control the remote. This allows them to compulsively channel surf, stumble upon inappropriate content, or avoid turning off the TV.

Guide older kids on good remote habits – choosing a program and sticking to it, turning the TV off when finished, not watching aimlessly. But still supervise use.

Use passwords or controls on streaming devices to only make kid-friendly content accessible. Put TVs on timers.

Store remotes away between use.

7 Symptoms That Your Kids Are Addicted to TV

  1. Strong resistance when asked to turn off the TV.
  2. Sneaking extra TV time behind your back.
  3. Losing interest in other activities and hobbies.
  4. Getting extremely irritable when kept from watching.
  5. Difficulty concentrating at school the day after extra TV time.
  6. Choosing TV over social interaction with family or friends.
  7. Lying about the amount of time spent watching television.

If your child exhibits several of these symptoms, it may signal TV addiction. Limit sets, engage them in other interests, and consult a counselor.

10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Step Back From TV Addiction

  1. Set a firm, consistent daily TV time allowance.
  2. Restrict TV on school nights or weekday mornings.
  3. Prohibit screens in bedrooms and monitor use.
  4. Engage kids in active play, hobbies, chores, and family time first.
  5. Insist on other entertainment like reading, puzzles, or board games during some evenings.
  6. Watch TV as a family and discuss content.
  7. Explore entertaining non-screen activities.
  8. Set an example yourself by limiting your own TV time.
  9. Mandate tech-free times or days.
  10. Praise kids for reducing viewing and engage their intrinsic motivation.


Moderation is key when it comes to an appropriate amount of TV for kids.

As a general rule, 1-2 hours per day of educational, quality programming is sufficient, with occasional relaxed limits on weekends and holidays.

But every child is different. Find the right balance with your family.


What are the negative effects of excessive TV for kids?

Excessive TV has been linked to obesity, sleep issues, behavior problems, impaired cognitive development, and reduced time for more enriching activities.

How much screen time is recommended for preschoolers?

For kids 2-5 years old, experts recommend just 1 hour or less of any screen per day.

What are signs my child is watching too much TV?

Signs include irritability when TV is restricted, frequently sneaking extra TV time, choosing TV over other interests, and an inability to stop watching on their own accord.

Is any TV harmful for babies and toddlers?

Pediatricians discourage any screen media for children under 18 months except occasional video chatting. Limited, high-quality TV can be introduced after 18-24 months.

What are better activities than watching TV for kids?

Reading, outdoor play, hobbies, creative arts, board games, puzzles, family conversation, and socializing with friends are all preferable to excessive TV.