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Switch the T.V off and start living!

Switch the T.V off & Start Living 
Did you know that the average Child spends almost 4 hours every day watching T.V/Playing Video games?
How does all of this affect them?
Well, Television has been proven to harm our children and our family dynamics in many ways. Before TV, meals were a time for families to sit together &reflect upon the day and having lively discussions over home-cooked meals. Nowadays, many families regularly watch television during dinner, while sitting on their couch with a Tray on their Lap, succumbed by a certain T.V Show, Football game or Cartoon channel.
Don’t you remember when we were young and got a Childhood illness or injury? I, personally used to enjoy the special times for bonding, family rituals and of course the “total” pampering. I still can recall the books that were read to me or quiet games that we played while recovering. Today, sick children spend their days glued to the T.V with no interest in interacting with anyone. No Story time or any other light activity.
 All these hours spent in front of the TV, children are being parented by network producers rather than by their own parents. Unfortunately, Television teaches children that rude, irresponsible & Disrespectful behavior is not only acceptable but also glamorous. Children learn about sex and violence apart from their consequences, emotional attachments, and responsibilities. They learn to act impulsively, without reflection or advice from elders. Qualities such as wisdom and processes like thinking through a problem are difficult to express on a television screen, especially when the medium depends on sensationalism and shock rather than character and insight. Where has outdoor playing disappeared? Our children do not know what Hopscotch, Simon says, Tag-play, Telephone or Musical Chairs are! These outdoor games used to be a staple in my Childhood memories.
The best way to keep TV from becoming an issue with children, of course, is not to begin using it so often. It is vital to establish clear rules on its use and to maintain these rules. Never make TV a reward or a punishment; this only heightens its power. When starting the withdrawal from TV, explain why you are making these changes and that it is not a punishment. The first month will be the most difficult. Children may cry or plead, but you can remain firm if you keep in mind that you are freeing them from an addiction.
It is also imperative that you help your children learn how to fill the time that they formerly spent watching TV. Work with them to nurture interests, discover hobbies, and explore new possibilities. Begin a nightly read-aloud for the entire family. Take walks after breakfast or dinner. Share your hobbies with them. Learn to play instruments and make music as a family. Encourage children to help with work around the house and yard. Visit neighbors and relatives. Tell stories and pass on your family history. Build a birdhouse. Go bowling. Start Scrap-booking. Finger-paint. Color. Exercise together. Involve your children in the daily activities of the house, and encourage yourself and your family to re-learn the meaning of exploration and discovery, away from the draw of the flickering blue screen.
The newest recommendations are that kids under 2 years old should not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming (educational non-violent visual entertainment).
It will take a lot of determination and you will face hard times with a lot of complaining and nagging…but you are saving them from a life-time of laziness, boredom and lack of social skills.
© Laurence der Hovsepian