What is TV watching like in your house? In almost half of all homes in America, the TV is on most of the time. Families watch TV while eating dinner instead of talking to one another. Families spend time watching TV alone in their bedrooms. Family members may even watch the same show in different rooms. Even if you are watching in the same room, you are not talking and interacting.
To get your family away from the TV and bring your family closer, try these suggestions to have family time together:
- Boost your energy. Get your heart and blood pumping instead of getting sleepy sitting on the couch watching TV. You will feel much better after just a few minutes of activity. Turn off the TV, try turning on some music, and get everyone dancing. Play with jump ropes or hula hoops. If you have a dog, go outside for a walk, or play fetch for awhile. It’s fun for everyone, even the family pet. Physical activity will help both you and your children stay alert for the rest of the day. It can even make everyone’s brains work a little harder, which can help when it’s homework time.
- Make the most of your time. Feel that there’s not enough time in your day? Combine chores and family time to make both fun. Go outside and weed and water the garden together. Or try cleaning a room together. You can even make it into a game. Have a contest to see who can dust their side of the room first. The chores will get done faster, and everyone will get to spend valuable time together.
- Real life adventure. If you’re just not sure what to do with your children away from TV, try bringing TV to life. Think about the TV shows your children like best. If they like animal shows, plan a visit to the zoo. A local farm may offer a tour or a petting zoo. Does your child enjoy cartoons? Draw your own cartoons together and then color them. If your children like shows about learning, visit a children’s museum or a play group at a local library.
- Make a fort, tree-house, or tent. Cover the dining room table and chairs with a sheet, and bring stuffed animals and books into your fort. You can read together and make up stories.
It’s important for your family to spend some time together, away from the TV. Even if you can only get the family together for a short time, children get more out of your time together. Time away from the TV gives you more time to talk with your children. It also gives you more time to read and play together. Follow your child’s lead in playing pretend. You’ll be amazed what new games you’ll invent when you have a chance to imagine!
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