Lately, we have been lessening our television time at home. My children are into the "Reading Challenge" we agreed on. The Reading Challenge parameters are the following: My two older kids ages 8 and 9 can choose any book (fiction or non-fiction) with more than 30 pages. They are given 1-2 weeks to read the book of their choice and once they are done with their reading, a reward awaits them. Simple rewards such as an hour or two in the computer with educational games, a movie trip, trip to a crafts store for our art projects or an eat-out treat. Simple rewards yet beneficial for them.
So you may be asking: "Why are we lessening our TV time?" My answer is:"Why not?" There are just basically three reasons why we decided to lessen our TV time:
* TV time means "no communication time". In our home, if everyone watches TV, no one talks at all. But have you ever noticed that whenever someone talks, another will say: "Quiet! I cannot understand what the character is saying!" Strange, right? We have time to listen to the character, yet we cannot afford to listen to another member of the household! More than that, if someone walks around and blocks the view of the TV, most likely the watching is interrupted, the protestations from the viewers cause commotion such as:"Please go away!" or "You're blocking my view of the TV!"
We decided that if the TV is turned off, we are more aware of the human dimension and interaction in our home, which is more important. So less TV time, means more interaction.
* As parents, we always want to choose what is best for our children that include only three concepts: what is true, what is good and what is beautiful. However, TV sometimes presents the opposite if not the distorted versions of these. Product endorsements are so rampant that if we all listen to what they are saying it is practically the same: to buy or spend. It, sometimes, feels that we should always have the money to spend otherwise we are out of circulation. This is not always the case. There are alternatives, in fact, way too many.
As they say: "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." We are doing that for now by lessening our TV time to really reflect of what is really true, good and beautiful, not the boob tube way!
Original article by the author first published at Pinoy Moms Network Parenting category, September 14, 2007. )