The TV-Turnoff Network has declared April 23rd to 29th as “TV-Turnoff Week”.
The TV-Turnoff Network is a nonprofit organization that encourages everyone to watch less television so as to promote healthier lives and communities. Formerly known as TV-Free America, this group was founded in 1994. They propelled themselves with the belief that people actually have the power to determine and control the effect of television on their lives.
The group started the TV-Turnoff Week in 1995. The basic principle for this cause is that people, especially the youth are spending to much time watching television. This habit has limited interaction among family members, and steers the young ones away from their studies. Many children are into too much what TV offers that they watch first before doing their homework. Others follow their parents and guardians rule to finish their school-related work first, but do so hastily so as to catch up with the scheduled shows that they do not want to miss.
Studies show that children in the US, on the average, will spend more time watching TV than being in school. Aside from time being taken away from their studying and socializing, watching too many hours leads to an unhealthy lifestyle that causes obesity. Children chomp away on chips, sweets and other junk food while watching TV. They do not go out to play and exercise, and this could lead to weight gain and eventually obesity.
During the TV-Turnoff Week, people are encouraged to think, create, read and do. Children most especially are encouraged to turn to fun and interesting books aside from their school books, do art activities, and to connect and interact with the family and the community.
More than 65 national organizations support this campaign. Millions have joined this worthy cause because of the good and hardworking network groups that reach out to local schools, clubs, religions organizations, and communities. The support of the many known organizations are giving the cause a huge boost as well, and adds to the TV-Turnoff Network’s credibility. Some of the organizations that support this campaign include the American Medical Association, the National Education Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you go to www.tvturnoff.org, you would find many tips on how to turn off the TV. Here are a few:
1. Place the TV in a hard to get place.
2. Go Cold Turkey.
3. Phase out cable and then network.
4. Fix the TV, so it could only show videos, then limiting videos.
5. Have a garage sale and sell the TV.
6. Leave the TV every time you move!
Some of the above tips might sound really harsh, so they also gave some tips on how to cope while trying to be a convert to their cause. I have chosen some of them for your reading:
1. Be patient. They said that the children would be whining, but they would get used to it. The children would complain but would soon be able to find other things to do.
2. Send the kids outside. This is really one of the goals of this campaign. Instead of staying indoors and seemingly immobile, the important thing is for children to be in action. Let the children have fun outside and play with their siblings and peers. They are socializing and at the same time are spending a great deal of time exercising their bodies.
3. Be a model to your children. They suggest that when it is time for your sitcom or favorite TV show, go out and take a walk. You may exercise as well, or do a chore. Anything but watching TV.
4. Take pictures of your children doing fun activities and keep them visible. This could mean that to have displayed pictures of children having a great time outside or doing other activities other than TV could inspire the kids further that there really is fun outside watching TV.
5. Come out of the closet and grow a little tougher skin. By this, they mean that it would help if the parents would be open to other people that they are trying out this new rule at home. Be ready to receive a few comments and criticisms from others, but they say that it helps to be accepting and open.
The strict rules of TV-Turnoff Network appears to be very difficult to follow. They have, however, a lot of studies to back up their claims. Perhaps, if totally eliminating TV in the family life is impossible, then limiting the hours of TV watching could be a huge step. Besides, there are really a lot of activities that the family can enjoy together, and the kids are creative enough to find fun ways to do, other than having their eyes glued to the TV set.