"Televison has changed the American child from an irresistible force to an immovable object." ~Laurence J. Peter I was talking to my friend the other day and the subject was all about T.V. How much T.V. did you watch as a child? Did you like it? Was it entertaining for you and did you crave more of it? Of course I watched a little too much T.V. This was before they realized that television was not something that was necessarily good for you in large amounts. Don't sit too close or you can get cancer. Don't stare at it too long or you will freeze that way! Ha! That's a good one! I have to say that I am a true lover of television. I love my movies but I also love my T.V. What I don't like is how much T.V I actually watch. I wish I could just get rid of it! I can't seem to find the energy to stop. It takes a major effort to not watch my favorite shows. As my shows become older and they start to "go away" or get canceled I try really hard to not look for a new one in its place. If I remember to fast forward through the commercials (thanks to the invention of the DVR) I won't see those previews for the new shows. Maybe eventually all my shows will go away and I won't have any more to watch. Well, that is wishful thinking on my part. I am weak.
As for my kids? We have strict rules in our house about how much T.V. and Wii time they are to have each day. To be honest, it wasn't always like that though. I admit to having the television be a babysitter when I was cooking dinner or wanting to be by myself for a minute. It was helpful when my kids were really little. I don't know what I would have done without it honestly! Then when my mom told me that we didn't have a T.V. when I was a toddler I was totally shocked! How did she do it??!! Mind blown.
But how can we get our kids to watch less, do less and be less around all the electronics? Not just T.V.? Video games and anything else that keeps them from being active, being imaginative and being kids? Let's explore some things.
1. Know why it's bad for them
The first step to figuring out how you will take it all away is knowing why you need to take it away. T.V. can be entertaining, it can be educational and it can be pure fun! But you have to take it all in bits and pieces. Too much is not good. Too much has proven to be bad for your health as you exercise less and eat more and get less done! Who wants all of that? The first step to fixing the problem is to admit that you have a problem.
2. Put a time limit on it
In our house, we have so many activities going on that we hardly have time for television anymore. But on the days that we don't have much going on, there is a tendency to let the kids watch a little too much T.V. Our rule is that you have to turn it off by 6:30pm. This is two hours before their bedtime. This allows us to have a more successful bedtime routine too because there is nothing distracting them from doing what they are supposed to be doing which is getting their PJs on or taking a shower. So bottom line is set a rule that you can follow and have a reason to back it up. Put a time limit on it and actually set the timer. Nothing is worse than giving a time limit and letting it slide. That does nobody any good.
3. Make them work for it
Nothing shows appreciation more than a good work ethic. Chores for T.V. time. So crucial. Really works well around here. You set the rules. For every chore they do you can give them minutes to spend watching T.V. or playing video games- whatever the vice. In our house it's homework completed equals Wii time coupons. T.V. time is so seldom that it works itself out in the end. But long sortie short- make 'em work for it.
4. Cut it out completely
Some people need that complete cut off. Although it's hard, you can do it. Even if it is for one day a week to start out, you are doing better than yesterday. One day, you will forget that you wanted to watch whatever it was or play whatever it was. Then maybe you can work your way to more days at a time. Baby steps.
5. Fill your time wisely
If you fill your time with other things, you don't have time for T.V. or games. Go on a hike or take your dog for a run. Get out and fly a kite. Read a book! Better yet, read an educational book! Shocking to think those are still out there. The possibilities are literally endless. Outdoor activities are great. Save T.V binge watching for rainy days. This is not the excuse you need to spend more time on the internet or social media. I said fill your time WISELY.
Get my point? Take it away by a little bit or by a lot- you will be happier in the long run. Realize that it is not healthy for you and fix it. Keep it away. Pick and choose what is most important to you. Priorities are important. Let them be more about you and less about the things you have. Stay tuned for when I talk about what will actually happen to your kids once they watch less T.V.
Like what you hear? Take a look at some of my other posts on how important it is to be less busy and why they need you now- and not later. Contact me today to make some more memories and get those photos you have always wanted to decorate your home with. So fun and so necessary. Let me know what I can do for you!
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