TV Turnoff Week – Reflections
My family participated in National TV Turnoff Week for the first time this year. My PhD is in family studies and mass communication, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between family strength and family TV-viewing style. Put simply – I’ve got a lot to say about families and television (most of which my friends don’t really like to hear)! So what else could I possibly learn about families and television, simply by participating in this weeklong event?!?
…At two years old, my son is already an addict. And worse yet, my wife and I are his dealers.
Sadly, I know this is reflective of our society. What is unusual about us is that my wife and I watch almost no television (other than our son’s shows). And our son really doesn’t watch that many TV shows, but rather he watches primarily videos we have selected. However, as a family, we have become really dependent on that electronic screen. Those of you with young children, you know what I mean – TV makes for a very convenient babysitter. Back in the grad school/pre-parenthood days, I really looked down on those who plopped their kids in front of the tube, so they could “do other things besides raise their kids.” Now I understand. I’m there.
However, after having given up the TV screen for a week, we’re making some changes. First, I’m playing and reading and talking and connecting more with my son. His life is better for it, and so is mine. Second, my wife and I are much more vigilent about how much screen time he gets each day. So far, he seems to be enjoying how much more activity he has in his life. Third, we are now more intentional about using TV as a babysitter. Sometimes, it is just really handy. However, we are much more mindful now about how much this occurs, keeping it very limited. Finally, we are more aware of what an active force television can be in the family – one that must be managed with wisdom, purpose, and discipline.
So, what did TV Turnoff Week do for this TV-Family expert?…It reinforced everything I learned in grad school. But, hopefully now I really get it. top domains