Set a firm time limit before the TV goes on. Set a timer so that it is very clear, or say “you can watch one show, no more.”
Consider limiting your child’s TV viewing to videos, DVDs, or recorded programs—no commercial television programs that will convince her she needs new products. At the very least, prerecorded shows will let you fast-forward through commercials. Moreover, the limited time of these shows will let you better control her viewing habits.
If your child is a true TV addict, consider buying some of the many children’s books that have been animated and turned into videos and DVDs. It’s not as active as reading, but it’s better for her than commercial TV.
Don’t let your child eat in front of the TV. This creates an association with meals that will be hard to break.
Keep your TV in a cabinet in a room that’s separate from the living room and your child’s playroom or bedroom. Close the cabinet when TV time is over. Out of sight, out of mind.