Back on December 7th, I wrote a post about how much we love our local library. My kids would probably go there every day if we gave them the opportunity and we do as often as we can. A friend of mine, Melanie DeWaal, commented on the article by stating, “I love this topic! One way that I keep it in the forefront of our house is to physically limit the number of screens/TVs. We have one television in our entire house, and that is on purpose.” That got me to thinking… I wonder how many televisions you all have in your homes and what percentage of the time do you spend sitting in front of it.
We have two televisions in our home currently, three if you count the one in the cottage that the residents use. We have a large flatscreen on the wall in our living room and a smaller flatscreen on the wall in my bedroom. While the one in my bedroom is smaller and draws little attention from my children, the one in the living room calls to them constantly.
In the line of work that we do, it is easy to let my children just sit in front of that thing all day long. However, Elisa and I know that, as easy as it is to let them be entertained that way for hours, it is not good for them to be so sedentary. They have to have activity outside of the house. Heck, maybe we could go outside with them. They need to have something engaging their brain (the tv does accomplish this to a point). Elisa is a little more deliberate about getting them away from the television than I am but we are both adamant that our children not grow up in front of the tube. Now, I don’t want to paint a picture that our children just sit in the living room constantly watching tv. They’re actually pretty active.
Now, I don’t want to paint a picture that our children just sit in the living room constantly watching tv. They’re actually pretty active. Sydney has a couple of friends on our campus that she hangs out with pretty frequently and Caleb follows the boys in our house around quite a bit of the time.
I guess the key is finding a balance between what is too much tv time and what is appropriate. Melanie brings up an excellent point about the location of your tv, though. She says that their television is out in a central location. She also stated that “No one sees anything that can’t be viewed by others, and we are free to discuss whatever is going on in the shows. Truly, as a mom, I’ve been surprised what topics the writers or TV shows will try to slide in ‘under the radar’ if you aren’t paying close attention to the details. When it’s time for mom’s shows (pretty much just the news, lol), they find themselves much happier with a toy.”
That brings the concerns of television time to a different level. It is not necessarily how much tv your children or consuming but what are they watching that might be the greater concern. I had a television in my room when I was a kid. Granted, we got like ten or twelve channels and this was in the early 90’s when tv was still pretty conservative so it was not a great danger for me. Today, that is not necessarily the case.
How about you? Are you really aware of what your child is taking in when they are sitting in front of the large, glowing box?
This image was taken from http://www.snopes.com. Please don’t sue me.
I’m not trying to create a panic type argument about televisions here. Your kids are probably fine. Yet, isn’t there something more productive that they can be doing with their time?
So, shut the tv off for a bit. Grab a book and read it with your kid. Go outside and climb a tree or play in the yard. Life is Strange, don’t spend it all sitting in one place.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter.