Make viewing "intentional," not habitual. Establish a weekly TV "allowance" of programs both parent and child agree are worth watching. Prohibit turning on the TV out of boredom or failure to explore alternative activities.
"Store" your TV out of sight to instill the concept that TV viewing is a special, intentional activity. Placing the TV in a cabinet, a closet or behind a curtain are simple ways to signal to your child and family that TV will not dominate your home.
Begin a dialogue with your child about "authorship." Who controls "making pictures" in your home commerical interests or yourselves? Emphasize that when a child or adult allows others to do most of their "picture making," imagination suffers.
TV turns us into "spectators." Begin a dialogue with your child about living life directly, not vicariously by watching others do things on the screen.
Talk with your child about what they are viewing. "Parental mediation" is the single most important factor in buffering the effects of heavy TV viewing, according to Yale University researchers Dorothy and Jerome Singer.
Set a good example for your children by controlling your own TV viewing.