An antenna. Do it for your kids.

Today’s parents have it hard. In a lot of ways, they have it harder than any other parents. The entire internet and hundreds of channels of free TV are competing for their kids’ attention. The challenge for each parent is to try to control their kids’ screen time and fill it with meaning. How is that even possible with all the noise out there?

One solution: antenna TV

Most people don’t realize that their local areas have dozens of channels of free TV. The cable companies usually only take the top five or six channels but there are so many more. Even better, a lot of those stations have tons of free educational content.

Remember that all antenna-based TV has to meet minimum standards of decency and must have a rating that allows you as a parent to block access if you want. That’s a big difference compared to the internet or even pay TV.11

If you have a local PBS station, they probably operate four or five channels of free TV that’s just waiting for you to use it. These channels are used by schools all the time and they’re just waiting for you to tune in.

If you’re part of our great American melting pot, you may find that there are local channels full of content from your ancestors’ home countries. It’s not uncommon to see Filipino, Korean, and other channels represented. This gives your kids the opportunity to explore other cultures. They may not know or understand the language they’re hearing but they might just pick it up faster than you expect.

If faith is important to you, you’ll often find several channels that broadcast a family friendly message of faith that could be just what you and your kids need. It’s not just televangelists and prayer groups. A lot of churches operate TV stations full of the programming they think adults and kids will enjoy. They find programming that spreads positive values and we all need some of that sometimes.

How to know what’s out there

If you’re in one of the country’s top 50 markets, you can check out our cord-cutter’s guide to see the many channels in your city. For those folks in smaller cities, there are tons of other resources out there. You can even get a free antenna recommendation from our experts and ask to find out what stations are available in your area.

Kids hooked on mobile? No problem

Of course putting up an antenna is great if your kids spend time with the TV. A lot of kids today don’t. A lot of kids are much more focused on those magical mobile devices than on the big screen. I can’t blame them, sometimes I’m focused on them too. But that shouldn’t stop them from watching that same free programming.

Adding an AirTV player to your antenna lets your kids watch live antenna TV from an app on their phones. You can control the content they see the same way you use parental controls on your TV or satellite system. You can make sure that they see only the stuff you want them to see. With a little work, you can guide them in the right direction.

Solid Signal can help

Looking for the best way to make sure that your kids get positive messages when they look at a screen? Solid Signal has dozens of kid-friendly devices. Of course the best of them are TV antennas, and no one sells more than Solid Signal. Check them out now!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.