Limit TV

Quite a few of my clients have recently recognized the amount of time they and their family spend viewing TV. They realized that if they avoided turning the TV on in the evening when they got home from work that they’d actually get more accomplished quicker, have more energy, and be able to better relax later on.

The debate about TV watching has gone on for years. Research indicates that American children and adolescents spend 22-28 hours per week viewing television; that’s an average of three to four hours a day! It’s contributing to obesity and other health problems in children as well as socialization issues as they mature. One mom I know set a NO TV rule. She allows her family to watch appropriate movies together but has relegated TV watcing to sick days, snow days, and special programs. By setting this limit when the children are younger, she is creating a healthy habit her children can take into the teen years and adulthood.

Moderate television watching with discretion in program viewing can be somewhat beneficial to school-aged children according to The Research Center for Families and Children. Excessive television watching creates problems for children. Here are some suggestions from the Department of Education:

Set Limits. Know how much TV your child is watching. Set some basic rules such as no television before homework or chores are done or during meals.

Participate. Watch TV with your child and discuss the program. Ask them questions and express your views. This will also let you know what your children are watching.

Monitor. Avoid shows, movies, or video games that have violent or sexual content. Encourage children to watch programs about characters who show cooperation and caring.

Analyze Commercials. Help children to critically evaluate advertisements.

Be a Good Role Model. This suggestion comes from the Parents as Teachers National Center. Because children model behavior, set a good example with your own television viewing habits. Avoid watching programs containing adult content when your child is in the room or nearby.

I’ve noticed how fixated my children (9 & 11) and my husband can become when they’re watching TV. I’ve also noticed how I can get drawn into it when I’m walking by. It’s important to be aware of how TV is contributing to your life or distracting from what you say you really want.

Here’s some ideas to help you and your family cope if you decide to limit or eliminate TV in your home:

1. Be more consciously aware of what you really do want to be doing with your time.

2. Encourage creative entertainment choices. Guide your family to help them develop other options besides TV. Be patient. If you can live through 15-20 minutes of whining, your children WILL find something else to do.

3. Send the kids outside to play.

4. Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing besides watching TV. Keep it visibly posted and refer to it each time you feel the urge to turn on the TV.

5. Use TV time as folding the laundry time.

National TV Turnoff Week is April 24-30 this year. Will you and your family be able to turn your TVs off for the week? And, if so, what will you be doing instead?

I’d love to hear from you about your TV Turnoff challenges and replacement activities. What did turning off the TV provide you with in your Super Busy life? What did the TV provide (i.e. relaxation)? What other ways can you get this?

Yours truly,
Coach Natalie

About The PriorityPro
Natalie Gahrmann, an international expert, empowers professional women to ignite their passion, demonstrate personal leadership and exude greater confidence. Her background in business acumen and leadership development is instinctively applied through 1-1 coaching, workshops and keynote presentations. She can help you gain clarity, focus and direction so that you accomplish more of what's important to YOU!

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