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October 24, 2008

10 Rules To Put Family TV Watching In Its Place

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Shannon, over at BlogHer has a post today, "Families Get Serious About Limiting TV."  It got me thinking about my own rules about TV.  Now you guys know I love my TV, after all I write about TV.   But I'm a big believer in limiting TV, especially where kids are concerned.

So here are my 10 rules to put family TV watching in its place.

  1. No TV in the bedroom.  The bedroom should be a TV-free zone.  It's for sleeping and canoodling with significant others.  When I sleep, I need quiet and no hazy moving lights from the glow of a TV.
  2. No TV in a kid's bedroom.  Ever.  As Shannon said in a comment on her post:  "Won't even discuss it!  We watch TV in our family, but we do it as a family event in a central location, where we can still interact.  If they had TVs in their room, I'm afraid we'd never see them again!
  3. No TV in the living room.  Now I know this all depends on the amount of space you have where you live, but if you are lucky enough to have a den and a livingroom, the rule is no TV in the living room.  The living room is for visiting, talking and...living.
  4. No watching TV during dinner or while the family is having a meal.  Ever.  That also goes for cellphones, video games, BlackBerries, Sidekicks and any other kind of electronic devices, toys or other distractions.  I'm an absolute pitbull with lipstick about this.  It's rude, obnoxious and totally ill-mannered. 
  5. This sounds like a no-brainer but no TV before homework.
  6. Also no TV during homework.
  7. For kids, TV watching should be limited to a maximum of two hours a day unless it's something special like the Olympics.
  8. Those two hours of watching should be shows the parents have watched themselves and approved of. 
  9. No TV during play dates.  A play date is for visiting and playing, not plopping in front of a TV for hours.
  10. Finally, try a weekend, or if you're more ambitious, a week of no TV at all.

How do you keep family TV watching in its place at your house?


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