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Q: Best way to reduce television watching in our family? ( No Answer,   8 Comments )
Subject: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
Category: Family and Home > Parenting
Asked by: avs2005-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 16 Apr 2005 23:02 PDT
Expires: 16 May 2005 23:02 PDT
Question ID: 510330
What is the best way to reduce television watching in our family as
the kids get ready for high school in a year or so? Is it best to go
cold turkey and get the cable/satellite TV disconnected Or would it be
better to have a couple of TV-free days per week? What about the Tivo
related options? Is it enough if one parent adopts the restricted
style by way of an example? My spouse is too fond of CSI/Law-and-order
etc and may not be willing. I have a couple of specific shows that I
really like/enjoy as well as watching the local news and weather
forecast. I am assuming that there is a correlation between watching
3+ hours of TV and high school academic performance. On the other
hand, we know some friends who turned off TV completely and now their
kids are quite tightly addicted to computer games over the internet.
Of course, I don't want to reduce TV time in our home only to get
different new problem nor want to be  overly harsh or punitive, having
been blessed with generally good kids

Clarification of Question by avs2005-ga on 20 Apr 2005 10:19 PDT
I am really grateful for the comments. 

My sense is that we will not get rid of the television completely and
wanted more thoughts about adding another TiVO to our home.

It seems counter-intutive but perhaps will make the viewing more
efficient, commercial-free and more available at our schedule. Anyone
have any experience (or suggestions/comments) with this?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: leep-ga on 16 Apr 2005 23:23 PDT
You may want to browse through the "Suggestions for coping" list at
the TV Turnoff site.  They aren't necessarily amazing list items, but
maybe they'll help create some others ideas:
Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: archae0pteryx-ga on 17 Apr 2005 00:37 PDT
Removal of the television set.
Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: leapinglizard-ga on 17 Apr 2005 00:58 PDT
Computer games can eat up a great deal of time if one is not careful,
but they are not nearly as harmful to the intellect as watching
television. The former is an active and somewhat creative act, while
the latter is almost entirely passive. I know plenty of very
intelligent and productive people who spend much of their spare time
playing games, but none who devote a similar amount of time to
watching TV. The bottom line is that games don't suck, but TV does.
Throw out the TV. Trust me, the addiction quickly wears off if you can
resist for two or three days. After a while, you'll barely remember
you ever missed it.

Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: nelson-ga on 17 Apr 2005 08:38 PDT
I used to do homework with the TV playing in the background and I
graduated high school as the valedictorian.  I cannot guarantee
similar results for your kids.
Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: dragon_2-ga on 17 Apr 2005 11:38 PDT
I removed the TV from my life in College. The first year sucked. I
missed Friends, and Seinfield. But the second year was great. I didn't
know what was going on in the TV world anymore but I didn't care
either. I had at least 4hrs more than others to do suff and get stuff

I went the next 10 years without a TV. I got married 5 months ago. I'm
amazed what's on TV now; but I can easily walk away from it.

My recommendation to anyone is to remove the TV. If there is a TV show
you want to watch, wait until it comes out on DVD. This way, you stay
in control. You decide when you watch it; not the newtorks.

Just my thoughts.

Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: biophysicist-ga on 18 Apr 2005 10:18 PDT
Your kids might be fine.  My husband also did his homework through
high school, college, and much of grad school with the TV running in
the background.  He had excellent high school grades and is about to
finish a PhD.

I, on the other hand, grew up with very limited TV exposure
(restricted by parents to ~1 hour of public television per day).  I
now find the TV highly distracting and can't do any work with it on.

The best way to cut back on TV is to move to a remote area with at
most one TV channel.  Or better yet, somewhere that doesn't even have
electricity.  We've done this in the past.  :)

More realistically, try to make sure the kids don't start watching any
new shows in the next year.  You certainly don't need more than 1 TV
in your house, esp. not in the kids' bedrooms.  Make a list of shows
they "have to watch" and restrict TV hours to those times only.  Or
you could get rid of all cable and broadcast TV and just do NetFlicks
or similar--they can get their TV fix that way, but hopefully it would
be less convenient so they'd watch less.  But they need substitute
activities.  Make sure they have plenty of access to books.  Weekly
trips to the public library are nice.  Make them go play outside (or
take a walk or ride a bike)--it's good for them anyway.
Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: omnivorous-ga on 20 Apr 2005 11:26 PDT
AVS2005 --

Your question brings to mind the story that I once read about the
parents of a well-known engineer or physicist.  There were 3 boys in
the family and the father, also an engineer, would break a component
in the television set occasionally.  His father's line was, "The boys
will learn more fixing the TV set than by watching it."

Best regards,

Subject: Re: Best way to reduce television watching in our family?
From: dawnita-ga on 22 Jun 2005 04:35 PDT
I like the idea of my children 'earning' television time.  With
chores, extra book or bible reading, or rewards for outstanding
decisions...  We also are a fan of TiVo, that we control when we watch
our choice of programs, as well as skipping commercials for sake of
wasting time. :)

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