TV Turnoff Week: Day Three

Prince Naveen in a Bucket

Prince Naveen in a Bucket

I cheated, I am just going to admit it right up front. I couldn’t stand the temptation and I watched Glee last night. And it was great. I don’t think I would even feel guilty – except that my kindergartner caught me. I thought she was asleep, and I kept the TV turned down low, but she found me out. This morning she informed me that she was going to talk to her teacher about it. I think I might be in big trouble – her teacher doesn’t mess around with second chances. I’m back in the saddle today, though, and don’t foresee any big temptations coming for the next couple of days. Perhaps some of the facts below might help me stay TV free.

Some hot-off-the-press facts about television viewing in our country

The Kaiser Family Foundation is releasing a report in Washington, D.C. today about media usage by kids. The findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 American children aged 8 to 18, conducted between October 2008 and May 2009. Some of the results include: 

  • The number of children with cell phones has ballooned from 39 percent in 2004 to 66 percent today, and from 18 percent to 76 percent for those with MP3 players
  • 71 percent of kids say they have a TV in their bedroom and 50 percent say they have a video game player
  • Only 28 percent of kids cited parental rules on TV watching and only 30 percent were subject to rules on video game use. In addition, only 36 percent of parents limited kids’ computer time.
  • About 74 percent of teens now have a social-networking page on Face Book or similar site

A challenge for today

One of the things we know about changing behaviors and habits, is that we often have to change our environment and schedules in order to be successful. For the smoker who wants to kick the habit, that may mean changing when or where they shop or eat lunch, in order to avoid temptations. For those of us who want to quit or limit our TV watching, that may mean doing some re-arranging at home. For example:

  • Move your television to a less prominent location
  • Move your radio or stereo to a place where you might be more likely to listen to it
  • Cancel your cable subscription
  • Take televisions out of all bedrooms
  • Hide the remote control
  • Unplug the TV on certain days – or all the time.

My reflection for the day

Before I fell off the wagon last night, I had a memorable experience with my kids. While digging a hole in the garden to put in some strawberry plants (which my kids lost interest in immediately) I literally dug up a toad. My little girls immediately named him Prince Naveen – I’m pretty sure they even tried kissing him. After it became clear he was not going to become a prince, we put him in a bucket and headed out the front door to show off our new friend. Within five minutes, kids from several houses on the street were outside looking at the toad, singing songs from The Princess and the Frog , making a comfy home for him in the bucket, and searching for flies for him to eat. It was a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting – and something none of us will soon forget. And it certainly wouldn’t have happened if we had been inside with our eyes and ears glued to the TV.

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