The annual Screen Free Week (formerly called turn off the TV week) is April 29th – May 3, this year. I am happy to see that it is not school vacation week as it has been in the past (at least in Massachusetts). I think helping kids find other options for fun during a typical week is much easier than during vacation week. Don’t you?
So, how much TV do you think you and/or your kids watch in a typical week? I think you may be surprised. Often times, we adults, just want to stop and slow down for a few minutes. Having that big black box staring back at us has the effect of a black hole….it pulls us in. We turn it on; we sit there and then wonder where the time went. Take a look at your TV habits. Do you have special shows that you watch or are you constantly flipping channels? Do you turn it on for the news and then watch the 6pm and 11pm news and everything in between? Well this is a good week to go “cold turkey” and turn off the TV. You might just realize that the hours of 7pm to 10pm are some of your best. (Click here to continue reading on our blog page).
Let’s face it, with TIVO™ and other DVR’s you can be the one in control of your viewing. By fast forwarding through the commercials you can save 15 minutes off each hour long program. I guess what I am saying is take a look, are you wasting valuable time getting hooked into something that really doesn’t interest you? Or are you deciding what and when you will watch? Is the TV in control or are you?
Families can work together to plan activities for the after dinner hours that are typically spent watching TV. Be creative, you can bake cookies, play games, do crafts or read together. The options are limited only by your imagination. Check out events in your area.
Try it for the week and let me know what you do instead. If you’re a typical 3 or 4 hour a night watcher, that could mean 15 to 20 hours gained in just 5 days! Think about that! My husband doesn’t know it yet, but the TV is going off for those days. I’ll have to think of things to keep him busy so he doesn’t even notice. I hope that teachers will lighten the homework load for this week or many kids won’t even notice that the screens were off.
One thing I do want to mention, these three or four hours that you gain, should not be used to get more “work” done. Think of it as your “self-care” time or “family” time and use it wisely. Check out this website for more information: http://www.screenfree.org/
Let me know what your family has planned in the comment box below. Thanks for reading.