How to Stop Watching Too Much Television
Is television filling up your weekends?
Perhaps you have become aware of a nagging feeling during the night, or it may be on Saturdays, possibly during Sunday afternoons? You may be feeling like you should be faithfully out walking the dog, or visiting long neglected friends, or checking in on a relative?
Do you constantly chase away the thoughts of your backyard dog scratching at the patio door? Has it really been two weeks since you two had a walk, or played "go fetch"? Do you hear the echoes of your mother or fathers' voices patiently explaining the hazards to your brain from watching too much television? Are you avoiding evening phone calls from your friends, in spite of your deep worry that they too will begin to ignore your emails and rushed text messages as you race home from school or work so you can quickly grab some fast food and have just enough time to slide onto your couch or into your bed as the previews of this weeks' serial comedy shows begin?
Start by setting up "dates" with friends or family.
You too can feel the freedom, the weight of guilt lifted from your shoulders!
Does Trimming Down the number of hours you sit in front of the TV require a Support Group? Therapy Sessions? a Twelve Step Program?
Oh there it goes, that dull ache in your head paired with the annoying pulse of dread and aggravation as you try to dismiss the concern that overwhelming feelings of failure will be the result of this effort.
Do not fall for the false lure of being "Couch potatoes!"
But What in the World is a Concerned Parent Supposed to do?
Parents and responsible adults are vaguely aware that television has completely altered the way that children spend their free time. In past decades, even young children spent much of their days playing games and exploring the outdoor world around them. Our children of the 21st century, now spend their time with their dazed eyes glued to the movie theatre-sized television screen and their legs dangling over the arm of the closest recliner chair.
Every kids the country should be vigorously working off the stress of school requirements, peer pressures, world economy threats, sexual tensions, relational fears, searching the great outdoors getting exhausted, oxygenated and shower ready, instead exercise only their blinking eyelids as they sit in a dull trance, show after show, in front of the electronic baby-sitter. There have been studies that have proven that excessive TV viewing interferes with the capacity to use the imagination at play, interact creatively or with origination, and stifles the ability to express ideas logically and sensitively. Sitting passively is one of the major problems that lead to obesity and lack of energy.
Get the Whole Family Involved Outdoors
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Are you aware that the average child between 2 and 11 years old watches over 31 hours of unsupervised television each week; have you been concerned that the only thing your children do, (including time spent in school), more than watch television is sleep? Have you read the widespead reports that kids' television moguls have been known to brag that they have, through weekly kids' shows like "Nickelodeon" , captured the complete attention of our youth and now "tell them all what to think, what to like, what not to like, and most importantly to the TV Moguls themselves, they tell the future generations what to buy, what they "must own" !
It is no longer the nuclear family that accertains the deffinitions of who they are, what their limits should be, how to deal with problems and where to find solutions... actually most often when a parent attempts to do their job and advise or lead a child through some issue or other, they experience the defiant resistance of a child who has absorbed how the world should be according to the structure and concepts of "TVLand".
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We Are Ready To Break Free Of The Guilt and Stress That We are Not Where We Should Be!
So What Shall We Do? Is There Anything That Can Be Done?
- Let's Just turn the TV off for Five maybe Six Minutes right now.
- Let's take a blank piece of paper and write a list of things we want to do.
- Lets' make a list of things we may not want to do, but things we have been putting off doing
- For every hour we spend doing things on the list, we give ourselves one Half hour of TV.
- Now as adults we are getting our own TV viewing under control, it will be less overwhelming for us to address our relaxed behavior when it comes to regulating what our children are watching.
What else is there to do?
Make a list of fun things to do as a family to take the place of TV::
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It's Time For a Family Meeting!
- Organize activities that you want your children to try - no one can decide if they like or dislike something for themselves unless they have given it a real try.
- Schedule TV time for your children only, only when you can sit and review the exact programs they have been watching. Review and as the parent, decide if you find their programming choices appropriate viewing for their age and maturity and in accordance to your perception of who you are as a family.
- RE-connect with the concept of Family meals, where everyone takes part in preparation, and everyone comes away from the TV to eat together.
- Reward positive changes in family TV viewing with "Movie Nights" where special programs are viewed as a Family with foods that can be eaten in front of the TV only on those special nights or weekends.
- Add some creative activities to this list and make a corkboard where everyone can contribute ideas.