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!!
OK, 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:
- Turn it off.
- Go outside and play.
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
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- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.)