Are you considering a Home Theater system, but holding back because of your kids? Will they spend more time watching movies instead of doing other things? Will they become more avid couch potatoes? Perhaps not with some ground rules and careful planning. The following are a few tips and things to consider:
Buy your DVDs wisely. Choose titles with educational content to balance out the other types of movies. Encourage it more by watching these yourself. If you have satellite programming or digital cable, be sure you have access to stations such as the History Channel, and Discovery Channel. Watch these together as a family. Also get classic DVD movies and TV shows which don’t have the violence found more often today. Many of these older shows tend to reinforce good values.
Make watching the home theater into a family event, have it be the basis for more family gathering time. Watch movies that the entire family can enjoy, and which you can discuss afterwards. Movies which get everyone thinking and talking are a positive thing, as is anything that gets the family together more.
If possible, allow space for kids to move around freely, so they don’t only have to sit. You can even get some exercise DVD or videos to watch, getting everyone involved in the exercise routines.
Encourage conversation as a part of movie watching. Discuss the plot and meaning, pausing the movie as necessary for discussion. This helps get people thinking and sharing ideas.
Set limits from the beginning on when the home theater system can be used. There can be not only time limits, but rules such as finishing homework first.
Buying a home theater doesn’t have to mean an end to family life, rather can encourage it, and get kids away from other solo activities such as video games. A home theater doesn’t have to be just for entertainment, it can be educating and stimulating also.