Q&A: Setting TV boundaries


The TV is always on at our house! I like to do other activities with the children, but I just can’t pull everyone away from the TV. What is the appropriate amount of time to spend watching TV each day, and how can I get my family interested in other activities?

Answer: The solution to your dilemma can be summed up in three words: Turn it off! Countless studies testify to the detrimental effects of too much TV exposure, especially on children. It places them at higher risk for obesity, smoking, learning difficulties, and being bullied.

There’s also the issue of content. Whether through advertising or depictions of sex and violence, it’s likely your children are receiving messages that you don’t want them to hear.

TV isn’t inherently evil, of course, and we’re not suggesting that you make your children quit abruptly. Considering the steady diet to which they’ve become accustomed, your children will likely hesitate at the thought of reducing their TV intake. But they will thank you in the long run. Go outside. Play badminton or swim. Get involved in charity work as a family. Your children will likely relish the opportunity to engage in physical activity as a family.

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