I spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of reducing children’s television viewing, but I don’t always say much about HOW to do it. For us, it has always been pretty easy. Since my children have never had TV, they don’t miss it. Definitely the easiest way to go.
But how do you reduce or eliminate TV-watching when your children are used to it, and most likely really enjoy it? I imagine that this could require some…hmmm…”delicate handling.”
Of course for the very strong among you, cold-turkey is always an option. While you’re at it, cold showers, 10-mile winter hikes, and cod liver oil are probably good for kids too. But let’s be real here: is it really worth it? The resulting drama, weeping and wailing that could possibly occur, might make life not worth living for the parents! So what can parents do to reduce TV-time without undue suffering?
Jonah Lisa has some ideas. She wrote an interesting and witty post about how her son Huck’s television-viewing gradually and insidiously increased. Finally, caught in a “shame spiral” about his viewing-time, she decided to take action and came up with a very practical TV-reduction plan (her “7 Step TV Trap Action Plan”). Last I heard, the plan has been in place for a week and seems to be working with minimal misery for all!
I will not list her ideas here since they are her ideas, not mine. Instead I will send any of you interested readers over to The Toby Show to read Jonah Lisa’s “7 Step TV Trap Action Plan” for yourselves. Her post is entertaining and the advice is great! Please stop by if you have any interest at all in reducing your children’s TV-viewing.
One last thought: National TV-Turn Off Week is coming soon (April 21st-27th), so if you plan on giving it a go, now might be a good time to begin, or at least think about decreasing TV-dependency, so that turning it off for one whole week is not quite such a shock!
Photo courtesy of morguefile and photographer Kristine Kisky.