Turn Off the Television and Turn On Fun
Do you think that fun and games must be expensive or come only after the
chores and homework is done? Do you think that being together has to include
food or commercial events? Are you waiting for the children to suggest a romp
in the park or a race to the mailbox? Are you hoping they will ask you to come
out and play?
Well, trust me, it won't happen! it is much too easy for your kids to turn
on the TV, Game boy or Wii. These electronic entertainment centers are almost
addictive and much too easy to turn on and hours later, they are still
communicating electronically, rather than face to face interaction with other
You are the Family Activities Director
If you really want the kids to turn off the electronics and turn on their
imaginations, you must consistently plan family fun times. You can include the
children in planning family outings and game nights. This will give them an
opportunity to learn how to present ideas and negotiate in a safe environment.
This planning process can teach your child how to compromise and take turns, as
well as the principle of give and take.
Entertain and Connect with Games and Kids
As a parent educator, many families tell me they are concerned with a number
of issues dealing with too much electronic time in front of what has been called
"the third parent" or "Free baby-sitter" These are just a few of the
- How the advertising is influencing the child' s development of language
(yikes) and values.
- The family is not spending quality time together because everyone is
stressed out and busy, including children.
- The whole family has bad eating habits like snacking and mindless eating
- Everyone is lacking in social skills because they seldom interact with other
- Their children are "bad sports" and "sore losers" on athletic teams because
they don't know how to lose or win graciously
- No one knows how to make friends
- When family time is suggested, the kids think it means a trip to McDonald's,
Disneyland or miniature golf, which all cost money.
brainstorming with the whole family and see what games and activities that you
can do together that require little or no preparation and no cash! Instead of
spending time in front of the television, invest a few hours getting outside and
enjoying each other and nature. Spend time with your children and neighbors in
the community building strong bodies, minds and relationships.
It is the most important work you will ever do.
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship coach and author