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June 14, 2010 - Kylie Saari
CNN just released a report of a study that concludes that children who have parents that set strict limits on TV and other screen time are less likely to watch too much TV.
An equally surprising aspect of the study found students involved in sports and other outdoor activities don't spend too much time watching TV.
So... if you set limits and are involved outside your home, you watch less television. I am surprised it took a scientific study to find these common sense items out.
I admit, I am one of those annoying parents who ruin my children's fun by strictly limiting the television. It is made much easier by the fact that my home doesn't actually get a TV signal, and I am a journalist, so I can't afford cable.
Nevertheless, the kids, find other things to do, such as playing violin, soccer, and — wait for it — reading.
They also entertain themselves by fighting with each other, which experts have found is beneficial for them, although not for me.
It has been a source of never ending wonder for me when parents of preschoolers would lament that they would rip their hair out if they have to listen to a cartoon theme song one more time, or when they say with wide-eyed surprise — "Little Johnny watched Finding Nemo three times today! "
Hello?! Turn off the TV. Kids are amazing little creatures. Boredom is good for them. And it allows you to use one of my favorite lines from my parents to me when I was a child, "If you can't find something to do, I will find you something to do," while pointing to the laundry basket or dishes in the sink.
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