Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Midweek Pick Me Up

Does your toddler throw a temper tantrum if the remote control is missing?
Can you tell time (quite accurately) by what program is on TV?
Do Teletubbies make special guest appearances in your dreams?
Don't worry, you're not alone.

Sunday starts TV Turn off week. Yup, you might love it,you might dread it, but you can't avoid it. Time for that guilt-inducing reminder of how good it is for your kids (and you!) to turn off the boob tube. While we're at it, we ought to throw in all the screens that reduce the quality and quantity of mother/child time---ahem---like the one you're staring at right now.

The bad stuff: Letting children watch TV can increase childhood obesity, violent behavior, nightmares, material desires (toys and merchandise), and more. Additionally it can diminish mental activity, social skills, and most importantly--their relationship with you. We would never wish those things on our kiddos, and yet in most homes we invite that magic box into our lives way too often. We've heard this a thousand times, it's nothing new. But wait---before you start feeling overwhelmed, I have some helps for you.

I narrowed it to three very encouraging articles packed with ideas of how to control the TV:
American Acadamy of Pediatrics: Smart Guide to Kids TV
MSN Parenting Article: TV: How Much is Too Much?
PBS: Children and Media

When Sunday rolls around, don't dive into a guilt-ridden panic attack, just make some reasonable family goals that help you regulate the screens in your life. If you can't make it the whole week and still be sane try some of these: one day with no TV, one hour less each day all week, carefully select your programs ahead of time, or maybe make an activity jar full of ideas to use when that TV withdrawal kicks in (and it will!). It's one simple step in the right direction, and we can all do something small to be better every day.

But that's next week. For now sit back and enjoy this clever little ditty that is sure to help you smile. ----Forget it, if you didn't see it too bad. You definitely missed out. It was a You Tube video, but you know how You Tube clips today, gone tomorrow.

No comments: