Monday, May 10, 2010

Every Monday Matters - Monday #2 - Turn Off Your TV

( is the link to the website's more thorough explanation)

Turn Off Your TV

1. Turn off your TV today (ummmm....Lakers play-off game 4 is today...maybe tomorrow!)
2. Designate certain TV free times throughout the week to reduce viewing hours
3. Remove TVs from bedrooms, kitchens, etc
4. Make a list of activities beside watching TV...then start doing them!
5. Avoid using TV as a reward - this only increases its power
6. Be more sensitive about programming - choose history, travel, cooking, home repair/design and other educational themes

our relationship with TV i think is very healthy. we typically never turn it on during the day and usually watch recorded shows (most of which are from History or Smithsonian - like Pawn Stars or America the Story of Us or Life or Who Do You Think You Are) bryan's favorite thing to watch is golf and i get my reality fix in with So You Think You Can Dance and Project Runway. But they are all recorded and watched after the kids go to bed.

Bryson watches a movie almost every day. he rarely watches TV live. I sometimes let him watch a show "on demand" but for the most part he watches a movie because that is the only way i can get him to chill the freak out somedays.

in college i was a Communication Studies Major. we had a lot of discussions in my media classes regarding TV and its effect on children/adults. there are so many different studies all contradicting each other and frankly trying to say that Sesame Street is responsible for ADD kids is a little overboard to me. BUT the one thing i did take with me is that the 2 most harmful things on television BY FAR are 1) The Local News and 2) Commercials for Kids.

one of my professors taught his kids at an early age to detect the manipulation in commercials and would quiz them afterward and ask them what that commercial was trying to say, "they are trying to tell you dad that if you eat their cheeseburgers you will be happy and you will make your parents happy - and its not true! youll just get fat and develop heart problems if eaten in excess...." so that was an example, not sure if that is how it went - its how it goes in my head anyway. i think its a good idea anyway - to learn to analyze the messages in advertising. and the news! nothing is worse than the news. i can not stand the news on television. i get my news in the paper, NPR (both the radio station and the iPAD app - amazing!) and other resources, but never the local news. it is so severely skewed and so little of it contains actual useful material and is really meant to scare. anyway - i hope i turn more people off to it - you'll thank'll be less fearful of your neighborhood!

i like this challenge though because i think it is important to have a worked-out boundary for TV - like "no TV on Sundays" which i like (bryan doesnt because golf is on then) and we dont have one...but its good to talk about as a family - with your kids about why we shouldnt watch too much TV.

Do you have set boundaries regarding TV? Do you own a TV? I am curious to see how others have already hashed through this...

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