The TV actually turns off?? COOL!

I am not a perfect person.  It follows then, that I am not a perfect mother.  My children watch TV.  Not as often or as much as some other kids I know (for some shallow reason I felt the need to say that) and, as per household rules, never at supper time.  But on occasion, it has happened; more often than I care to admit.  In fact, it happened yesterday…my kids watched TV!  The horror!!

Boy with TV Remote no 2OK, so I know all the names of the characters on Good Luck Charlie and have been known to hum the theme song to iCarly on occasion – you got me!  My 6 and almost 9 year-old definitely watch some TV (but it is after homework is done, does not replace active play and did I mention it’s never at mealtime?  Guilty conscience anyone?)  But I will say this…from the heart: I absolutely believe that screen time (i.e., time spent with my kids’ little eyes glued to an electronic screen of any kind) is bad for my kids’ health, growth and development and must do all I can to limit it.

I don’t step up on my soap box very often, but for this I will.  Until now, there were lots of studies warning about the dangers of screen time, but for some reason, the most recent one I read about in the National Post struck a chord with me.  Having been a nurse for the better part of 2 decades and having seen things ranging from amazing to downright horrifying, lemme tell ya – given the countless  things, beyond our control,  that can go haywire in our bodies, we would be NUTS not to at least try to curb some activities that degrade the health of our kids.

I am not a paranoid parent (as the legend goes, children of nurses only get medical attention when they are to point of being unable to ask for it!  LOL!) and don’t endorse living life on eggshells awaiting some future diagnosis that may never come.  But I do think that reducing the time our kids spend watching TV is an easy lifestyle change (as opposed to when I gave up chocolate – now that was awful!) and is one that most families could handle at least giving a try.

Highly technical steps to decrease time spent watching TV:

  1. Turn it off.
  2. Go outside and play.

Questions?

How much time do your kids spend watching TV or other screens?  Let’s talk about it!

There are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:

  • Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
  • Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
  • Email us at haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About this blogger:

Paula D’Orazio, RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program.  Wanna know more about her?  Read her blogs!  She’ll tell ya!  (She kinda likes to talk.)

This entry was posted in Parenting, Physical Health, Preschool, School-aged Children, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The TV actually turns off?? COOL!

  1. Anna West says:

    My kids (age 9, 6 and 2) also watch some TV, though we too try to limit it. The strategy that has worked best for us to limit their viewing was moving our TV to the basement. We only have one TV in the house (and there will never be a TV in their bedrooms). Having the TV down in our basement rec room has made it “out of sight, out of mind” which means they don’t even think about watching TV most of the time.

    We sometimes watch movies together as a family, snuggled up on the couch (5 people on one couch makes for great snuggles!). We also play xbox games together. We like doing that because it’s at least interactive…. now you could write a whole new blog about that topic!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Good strategy Anna. I just wanted to point out that it is one thing to put your TV in the basement (out of sight) but if your kids are using a computer it is best to have it in a high traffic area of the home so you can see what they are watching. Also to be mindful that if your child has a smart phone or itouch it is a mini computer too! Oh boy it’s hard being a parent!!

    • Anna West says:

      Yes, I agree about the computer being in a high traffic area. We don’t have any desktops, but when the kids use the laptops or iPad they have to use it in our living area (open concept to the kitchen and dining room) so they are always being monitored. We also have strict limits on their use of technology in general (which includes using the iPad – which they’d rather use than watch TV in fact!). We use a kitchen timer that has 4 individual timers to track how long they use technology.

      • Lilly Sulug says:

        Thanks for your comments Anna. Love the idea of using kitchen timers with individual timers for tracking technology use. Will definitely use that at home.

  3. Pingback: Babies, Toddlers and Touch Screens | HaltonParents

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