Cutting Back on Screen Time

by Scott on November 22, 2010

From today’s Tennessean, Dr. Frank Boehm calls for replacing t.v. time with book time:

If we began to encourage our children to replace screen time with reading books, they would be more able to counter ignorance in themselves and others by being able to enter conversa­tions with real facts rather than sound bites from television programs and the Internet.

I won’t pretend our kids don’t watch any television. They do. But we’ve found it easier to limit their tube time by getting rid of cable and only using a Roku player to stream Netflix. This allows us to limit what they see to very specific programs and zero commercials. An added benefit of using only a streaming player is that when a show ends, it’s over. There aren’t any “Coming up next…” announcements. Pea usually gets up and turns the television off when her show ends, saying, “We don’t watch t.v. all day.”

It’s been good for us (the parents) as well. We watch considerably less television now. Gone are the days of flipping through channels looking for something to watch. The only time the television is on at our house is when we sit down to watch a specific movie or an episode or two of a television program we’re streaming after the kids’ bed time. If you thought DVD was the best way to watch a series, you should try streaming it!

Again, no commercials, and we spend a lot more time reading and talking than we do staring at a screen.

We’re also saving a ton of money. For the cost of one month of cable we were able to buy the streamer to connect to the television, and Netflix is less than $10 per month. Cutting cable completely may not work for every family, especially if you like to watch sports live, but we love it!

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