“The most important thing we’ve learned as far as children are concerned is never, never let them near the television set. Or better still just don’t install the idiotic thing at all. It rots the senses in their head. It keeps imagination dead. It clogs and clutters up the mind. It makes a child so dull and blind” the Oompa Loompas energetically sing in the 2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Though this song is just part of a silly scene from a movie, not a serious attack on television, its message is one we’ve probably heard before – that TV is bad for children. And though there is definitely some truth to those lyrics – there are a lot of messages on television that we shouldn’t expose kids to – good messages can also be found. This is important to know as on average kids ages 8 to 18 spend a whopping 4 ½ hours watching TV shows each day via the TV, cell phones, tablets and/or computers.

Fortunately, there are ways to help protect your children (or your nieces and nephews, siblings, kids you’re babysitting, etc.) from TV’s negative messages and enhance its positive impact.