Turn Off the TV and Turn On Your Creativity

The third week of April (April 20-26 2009) is Turn off the TV week. In Massachusetts this is also school vacation week – not a typical week for children but perhaps one with more flexibility.

            So, how much TV do you think you watch in a typical week?  I think you may be surprised. Often times, we as 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.

            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?

            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. Even Barnes and Noble bookstores are getting into the act. They are providing story hours and game nights at many of their stores.

            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 the next four days. 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.tvturnoff.org/  

Good luck.