I am always amazed when I go to someone’s house and the TV is on. And I mean the TV is on, and no one is watching it! Kids are running around, parents are in the other room. But the TV is on, talking heads, or cartoon characters talking away at nobody.
Now, I have opinions on TV, and just because I have opinions, doesn’t make them right. But I’ve done my research, and I think there are benefits for reduced screen time and TV watching. And I think I see the results in my children as well. But it took me asking myself if I’m willing to sacrifice for my children – and the answer is yes – and that means my sacrificing TV time. Because if I have it on, even just for me, the kids are watching too. And I’m setting the example.
But I’m deviating from my point: My point is that the TV seems to be on all the time.
And I found a university of Michigan study which quantified it. So here it is:
In 51% of households, the TV is on "most" of the time.
So that means about 51% of the listeners out there are, at this very moment, justifying it.
Let me stop you. No need. You can do you. But if you listen on the daily, and we appreciate that, you’re here to get a few tips.
Well, I say shoot for above average. So my tip is don’t let your child be average. Because an average child “ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console.”
Be above average – make sure your kids are better than average – watch less TV is a statistically sound way to start. So turn off the TV on Saturday mornings when you’re all milling about the house. Get a timer. Get an app. Link it to an hour of playing out side. Monitor the cartoons or shows that your kids watch. Do Something.
Because if you don’t start doing these things now, if there are no basic rules now, you’ll be one of the “53% of households of 7th- to 12th-graders, where there are no rules about TV watching”.