TV Turn-Off Week Is Over! Now What?

By , May 7, 2007 12:57 pm

Just because it is no longer “officially” TV Turn-Off Week, doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to be conscious of your family’s screen-time.

There are a lot of great reasons out there for “turning it off,” or at least minimizing your TV and computer usage. Here are a few internet resources that I have come across that really address this issue nicely:

    A few reasons on her list include the well-known facts that excessive TV appears to contribute to childhood obesity and violence, as well as the behavioral benefits demonstrated by TV-free children: less aggression, more creativity, longer attention spans, and an interest in reading.
    Think of what you could spend your money on (or put into savings) without a cable bill and the added electricity of one or more TVs in your house. Then there are the less obvious financial benefits such as less exposure to commercial marketing (perhaps you’ll save money there too!) and spending less money on fast-food or ready-made meals because you don’t have time to make a dinner from scratch if you have to catch your favorite show.
    I really like this post because it has some very creative reasons for turning it off, many of which I had never thought of before. It is definitely worth a read and will make you think about your money, and how TV affects your spending.
  • There are websites out there that also encourage less TV-watching. I link to some of them in my left sidebar. I won’t relist them all here, but I will highlight a few of them.
  • If you are wondering what TV-free kids are like, here is a link to one of my favorite articles (found on The Center For Screen Time Awareness website): “TV Free Families: Are They Lola Granolas, Normal Joes or High and Holy Snots?” This article presents the results of a 1999 study conducted by Barbara Brock, a professor of Recreation Management at Eastern Washington University. She sent a 22-page questionnaire to nearly 400 TV-free families and had a 72.7% response rate. The results are very interesting and seem to confirm the beneficial effects of turning off the TV found in other research.
    My children have been TV-free their whole lives and I sometimes wonder about how that will ultimately affect them, so I find this study to be very reassuring!
  • Finally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 2 watch no TV at all. Please read their recommendation at my post TV and Toddlers. For a while now, I have had the following sign on my blog:

    It is finally being noticed and has appeared on several other blogs too. I am so pleased that others are willing to help spread the word, and I have moved my sign to a more prominent location. Please feel free to place it on your blog too. It can be found at Aylmer Press. You can also print full sized ones to hang in schools or other public places if you would like. Steve Kokette found my blog and was kind enough to contact me about his sign, so please include a link to his site if you use it. Thanks for helping spread the word!

5 Responses to “TV Turn-Off Week Is Over! Now What?”

  1. wishy the writer says:

    Our daughter turned 7 last week and while we fixed her dinner on her birthday evening, she read Shel Silverstein’s poems to us the whole time. We had to forbid her from reading during dinner, or she would have brought the poems to the dinner table. And as soon as the meal was over, she rushed to continue reading us poems aloud. That’s how we celebrated her birthday together that night. It was wonderful! Living tv-free has been good for us since we began it a year ago.

  2. mon@rch says:

    My TV only has 2 channels on it and I would find this VERY hard as an adult yet alone with kids! I do enjoy my morning news! I probably would have to listen to NPR for any updates on what is going on in my area!

  3. Bon says:

    crap! i turned out to be a sucky tv turnoff week participant…my genuine apologies, as i think it was a great idea.

    i didn’t, however, watch any tv except some czech news program that happened to be on in the doctor’s office in Prague, i swear to god. my heart was pure.

  4. […] (For more info on “turning it off,” check out my Unplug TV Resources links in the left sidebar and my post: TV Turn-Off Week Is Over! Now What?) […]

  5. Hello there,
    I am a mom who has started an alternative-to-tv webstation for children. Would love to have any feedback on the site from tv-free households. We are ad-free (trying hard to stay that way) and our shows are short (under ten minutes), but still its a screen! Thanks for a very interesting site!! Oh, and we are at
    all the best,

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