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:
- The Not Quite Crunchy Parent, a participant in my TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge, wrote two very interesting posts about TV. The first, TV Turnoff Talk, is a great general list of some excellent reasons to turn off the TV. The second, The Ancillary Impact of Too Much TV, contains some great links to current scientific research on the effects of TV on children.
- 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.
- The Simple Dollar has a great post entitled Ten Financial Reasons To Turn Off Your Television – And Ten Things To Replace It With. If money is what speaks to you, then read it!
- 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.
- The Center For Screen Time Awareness may be the best known of these websites, since they are the sponsor of the annual National TV Turn-Off Week. Several others that are a good resource and have lots of interesting links are TV Smarter, LimiTV, White Dot and Kill Your Television (rather “emphatic,” but quite complete). White Dot also has a Turning Off TV Forum.
- 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!