Keep your Kids Moving by Limiting TV Time
For many adults the television, computer and video games that are stacked in our homes serve as the perfect baby sitter when we have chores or work to do. Endless games and shows can mesmerize a child for hours, and enable a parent to get a lot of chores done, but is it healthy for our children?
Electronic games and devices may be contributing to the nationwide childhood obesity epidemic that plagues us as much as fast food and high fat, high calorie snacks. It is important for parents and adults to gain control of the situation and teach our children the healthier way to take part in life and be productive in the long term.
Many experts believe children should be limited to one to two hours of time in front of the television, computer or playing video games every day. As it is, most children are spending four to six hours a day taking part in these activities. Parents may follow a few simple guidelines to begin limiting this non-productive time.
Before turning off the television, plan ahead with alternative activities so your children don’t feel that exercise is a punishment of some sort. This may include family activities such as a bike ride, walking the dog or going to a park or beach. You could also add roller skating or a visit to a local playground. Bring a football, Frisbee or soccer ball with you and have some fun!
Leading by example is important. If you want your kids to follow a healthier, more active lifestyle then you can promote this by doing it yourself as well. Once you’ve added some activities to the weekly family routine, plan some television or game time for the family. Set time aside and plan the shows you will all watch together, or the games that the family will enjoy together. When the plan involves the whole family, the influence over the children’s activities will be more dramatic and something they look forward to.