It’s cold outside! IT’s tough to send the kids outside to play when the temperatures threaten the loss of fingers, toes, and ears. But, you know how the kids get when they’re bouncing off the walls inside. It’s SO EASY just to grab the remote and pacify them with the TV, isn’t it?
Most children in the United States watch 20 to 30 hours of television every week, or about 3 to 4 hours a day. In a year, the average child spends 900 hours in school and nearly 1,023 hours in front of a TV. That’s 1,023 hours that your family could spend together playing, riding bikes, reading, or having fun with friends!
The more time a child spends watching TV, the less time they spend being active and the greater chance he or she has of becoming overweight. TV viewing has also been linked to decreased academic performance and sleeping problems.
Watching too much TV not only keeps children sedentary instead of active, but they see about 40,000 ads on TV each year, most of which are for candy, cereal and fast food. These ads pressure children to choose unhealthy foods to eat.
The TV is OFF – now what?
It may feel funny at first to have the TV off and you may not know what to do. The key is to do things that are fun – play games, go outside (weather permitting), walk the dog (OK, the dog HAS to go out!) or visit a friend. Invite friends over to play! It’s also ok to let children figure it out for themselves – to be creative and explore time in and around the house without TV. Remember, kids need 60+ minutes of activity every day!
With the TV off, now they have time to get it!