In 2001, Amy Nathanson, a researcher at The Ohio State University, published an article outlining the 3 basic ways that parents can help prevent their children from experiencing negative media effects. According to her article, these ways include: (1) active mediation, described as simply talking to your children about TV and TV content; (2) restrictive mediation, described as setting rules about television viewing in the home (i.e. what kids can and can’t watch, how much they can watch, when they can watch it, etc.); and (3) co-viewing, or the simple act of a parent watching TV with their child. While all three types of mediation seem to be effective, this line of research seems to suggest that active communication between parent and child, especially guidance about media offerings, seems to be the most effective form of parental mediation of television.
Here is the information about Nathanson’s 2001 article referred to above:
Nathanson, A. (2001). Mediation of children’s television viewing: Working toward conceptual clarity and common understanding. In W. Gudykunst (Ed.), Communication Yearbook (Vol. 25, pp. 115-151). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.