Summertime is notorious for many things including TV reruns. Since I do not watch much TV any time of the year I can say that when I do sit down to watch something I am shocked by either the violence or language that is present during prime time. Of course, television has been around for nearly 75 years with the first TV appearing at the 1939 World’s Fair. Concern about the impact of television on children began when TV was in its infancy. By the early 1950’s parents, teachers and social scientists started to ask their legislators to “do something” about the amount of violence on TV.
In addition to the initial worry about violence, many professionals and parents question the quality of television programs designed for children and the amount of advertising directed toward young viewers. Studies revealing how much time children spend watching television are mind boggling. By the time a youngster graduates from high school they will have spent about 11,000 hours in school but over 15,000 hours watching TV! Factor in all of the other screen time devices like computers, ipads, etc. and it is easy to see the balance of childrens daily activities needs to be overhauled.
Since there are a few weeks of summer left I hope you will take a look at the following ideas to reduce the amount of TV viewing in your household.
* Set a weekly viewing limit. At the beginning of the week, have your child select programs you approve of from television schedules.
* Rule out TV at certain times such as before breakfast, or on school nights.
* Make a list of alternative activities – riding a bicycle, reading a book, working on a hobby. Before watching TV, your child must choose and do something from the list.
* Encourage planned viewing. Have program choices in mind before turning the TV set on and turn it off when the particular show is over.
* Do not locate a television set in your child’s room.
* Remember that children learn from their parents. If you watch a lot of TV, chances are your child will also.
I will touch more on the effects of TV advertising in a future column. In the meantime, get up and do something active and fun. And turn those TV reruns OFF!
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or email@example.com