01/25/2013 04:15 pm ET Updated Mar 27, 2013

5 Tips for Families Who Love Watching Sports

By Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media editor

Watching sports with your kids is one of life's great pleasures. If you're usually careful about how much TV they watch, then the big game can be an exciting occasion -- and something to savor instead of stressing over. But as we all know, there are plenty of interferences to enjoying sports as a family: age-inappropriate commercials, unsportsmanlike conduct on the field and waaay overdoing the tube time.

Keep these tips in mind to enrich your family's sports watching.

1. Just say no to "enhancements." In other words, mute the commercials. Your kids don't need to see ads for Viagra, liquor or other adult products advertised during sports events. Use the break to talk to your kids about the game instead.

2. Share your love of the game. Involve your kids in your enjoyment of the game. Many a fond memory has formed from the experience of watching the game and hanging out with dear old Dad (or Mom!).

3. Be a good sport. Point out good sportsmanship (and call out sore losers). And remember, your kids watch how you respond to the game -- so emphasize athletic effort and teamwork.

4. Get in the game! If it's basketball you love, practice hoops by lobbing things in the trash. Use half-time to dribble a soccer ball around the living room. Or get outside and practice the sports you love to watch.

5. Have a game plan. While you can't always predict when the Celtics will be in the playoffs, you can take advantage of your DVR or TiVo. Not everyone in the family will be into every game, and some won't want to be "forced" to watch. As always, create a balance.

More on Sports from Common Sense Media
Best Football Movies
Sex, Beer, and the Super Bowl: Are Your Kids Watching?
Inappropriate Ads During Sports: No Win for Kids

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go