TV Turn Off Week is April 24 to 30th this year.
Mental Multivitamin had a great blog post about “TV Turn Off ” week on April 21, 2006.
Our family does not participate in this ‘event’. The reason is not because we are addicted to television and unable to do it, but it is because we don’t watch much television. I know some of my friends think we do watch a lot. In reality, we don’t, at least not compared to statistics of what the average American watches.
My children watch 30 minutes of non-commercial, non-violent television while I shower and get dressed. That is all they watch in a typical day, by themselves.
At night we watch one show as a family, something TiVo recorded so we fast forward through the commercials. We all watch the show together and we discuss it. Sometimes this ends up being a part of a show and other times it is an entire hour long show (44 minutes after taking out the commercials). That is all the kids watch.
Some of what we watch together ends up being reality shows. The new show “American Inventor” is of special interest to my older son who is an inventor-wanna-be and my husband and I find it humorous. We discuss the marketability of various products and why some would probably never sell.
As I have shared before we were watching “American Idol” but now that is down to just me as the other three in the family beg to not have to endure watching it any longer. We watch “Survivor” and even more fun for the children and my husband and I, “The Amazing Race” (fun and games mixed with world geography and other cultures). We also watch documentaries. Last week we watched a documentary about Blackbeard and we saw the great four hour, new “Ten Commandments” show (spread out over many nights).
After the kids go to bed my husband and I watch some television together. We have our pure entertainment shows that we watch, such as “The Soprano’s” and some HBO series shows. I have been watching “8th and Ocean” as I blogged about recently. Watching some of these shows keeps my finger dabbed into the mainstream and is eye-opening in that I see what American teenagers are like today (which is very different from 20 years ago when I was a teenager). I think that parents need to know what is going on in the world so they know what their children may encounter as they grow to be that age. I never recommend sticking one’s head in the sand. I watch some Dr. Phil and some Oprah shows at night as well, the ones that interest me or my husband. I am interested in topics such as parenting, attachment parenting (or an attack on it), mothering, conflict resolution, and education/schooling issues. If there were TV shows about homeschooling I’d be watching them. I would actually like to see a reality show that features homeschooling families, one family per episode, to see how they live and why they do what they do. This show would portray homeschooling in a positive light and would be respectful of each family’s choices and would let the audience decide if that lifestyle or their choices are right for their own family. (Like one of Nancy Lande’s books but in a TV format.)
Two years ago my son was taking a gymnastic class at the YMCA. One PTA mother was trying to stir up interest in “Turn off Your TV” week as she was the ‘contact person’ for it at their school. Apparently they had a campaign going to basically publicize and market this ‘event’ to families. She was saying how excited she was about it. I was not interested in it nor am I interested in it at all because (just as Mental Multivitamin says), I feel that our family is already well-rounded with spending time talking with each other, seeing each other a lot, having ‘quality time’, playing board games, having conversations, and eating meals together. We are not living in some TV fog problem here and we don’t need snapping out of it. If I thought we were living in some inferior or second-best way then I would stop doing that and make whatever improvements needed to be made.
I actually am bothered by the idea that a family would think it is right to lessen TV time to ‘discover’ what life could be like without it, then to go right back to it in one week. I think that is pathetic. The fact that a family would love spending time together for one week then would decide that one week is enough then to go back to what they thought was inferior is beyond my grasp. I don’t get it.
I also think that many families have issues with setting limits and having rules. How about pondering the idea of limiting television on an EVERY DAY basis? How about having a better quality of life together every single day?
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