Children’s programs are increasingly numerous and varied, but not all of them are adapted to the age, needs and interests of your children. As an educational and developmental psychologist, I offer you some tips for making the right choice.
Consider your child’s age
The age of your child is an essential criterion for choosing programs for children. Indeed, children’s programs must be adapted to the stage of cognitive, emotional and social development of your child. For example, a children’s program that presents complex situations, sustained dialogue or implicit messages may be too difficult for a 3-year-old to understand, but not for an 8-year-old. Similarly, a children’s program that shows violent, scary, or shocking scenes may be too anxiety-inducing for a 6-year-old, but not for a 12-year-old.
There are age ratings for children’s programs, which can help you sort it out. For example, in France, there is the “Jeunesse” label which indicates that the program is suitable for children under 10, or the acronym “-10” which means that the program is not recommended for children under 10. However, these classifications are not always reliable or sufficient. It is therefore important to look at the content of the program and learn about its purpose, message and values.
Consider your child’s needs and interests
Children’s programs should also meet your child’s needs and interests. Indeed, children’s programs can have different functions: entertain, educate, inform, raise awareness… It is therefore important to choose programs that correspond to your child’s expectations and desires. For example, if your child loves animals, you can offer him programs that talk about nature, biodiversity or respect for living beings. If your child likes science, you can offer him programs that explain physical, chemical or biological phenomena. If your child likes the arts, you can offer him programs that present musical, pictorial or literary works.
It is also important to vary the types of children’s programs, in order to stimulate your child’s curiosity and creativity. For example, you can alternate between animated programs, documentaries, fiction or interactive programs. You can also encourage your child to learn about other cultures, languages or viewpoints through children’s programs.
Help your child watch programs
Finally, it is essential to accompany your child in watching children’s programmes. Indeed, children’s programs are not only a source of entertainment or learning, but also an opportunity for exchange and dialogue with your child. You can thus:
– Watch the programs with your child and share your impressions, emotions or questions.
– Help your child understand the meaning of the program, analyze the situations or characters presented and develop critical thinking.
– Link the program to reality or your child’s personal experience and introduce him to other sources of information or expression on the subject addressed.
– Respect your child’s rhythm and limits and offer them alternative activities to screens.
Choosing suitable children’s programs for your children is not always easy, but it is possible if you take into account their age, needs and interests. Above all, don’t forget that children’s programs are an opportunity to enrich the relationship with your child and to support him in his development.