Remember it isn’t all or nothing. Even small changes can help. 🙂
1. Where are you now?
On average how much time each day do your kids spend
- watching TV
- playing with hand held devices
- on the computer
- playing video games
2. Is your guess right?
If you want to surprise yourself, take a week, where you actually record how much time they do these thing. Do it. It will be eye opening.
Do you feel good about the amount of time they spend on media? Do you want to decrease it?
3. Get inspired.
Maybe doing Steps 1 and 2 were motivation enough. Why do you want to decrease your media usage? Will it be worth it?
The best books to inspire you
4. Make a Plan
If your kids are older, include them on the decision. Make a plan and pick a date, maybe the 1st full week of school is a good time to start?
Start slow or go cold turkey? Only you know what will work best for your kids.
You might decide 1 hour total a day is a good goal to work towards. If your kids are currently at 3 hours a day, cut back 30 minutes/day for a week and within a month they will be down to 1 hour!
You could plan a busy fun filled week and remove the TV or cover it at the beginning of the week. When the next week comes they will be used to no TV, so it may ease the transition.
Regardless of which way you want to go – make a plan!!! Let them know what it is and then stick to it.
Taking small steps may be easier. Maybe cut out the hand held media first. Start bringing books to entertain them while out and about.
Maybe turn off the TV while eating dinner.
What is their biggest addiction? Start with that one and then do the others. Or take out the others and then remove the worst problem. Only you can know the best way for your family.
But make a change, improve your life.
6. Create a New Rhythm
I think the key to success is to create a new rhythm. Look at where media has filled roles in your day. What can you replace them with? Maybe instead of an after school show, you can institute milk and cookies with mom in the kitchen. Maybe instead of an evening show an earlier bedtime or a read aloud time can fill that void.
It will feel like a void at first, so planning on the fillers will only help that transition.
Will it be worth the effort to reduce your media?
Oh yes, so very much. I promise if you will try it for a month, you will love it.
Reducing Media Usage for Kids Series
This series was inspired by my 13 year old. He said I need to tell people about this, after seeing the benefits in his quality of life over the last few months as we reduced our media usage.
- More Boys = More TV or How we got to become media addicts.
- Our Media Rhythm Before
- Transitioning to Media Free*
- Taking the Final Step – No more computer for T1
- Benefits of Being Media Free*
- Mostly Media Free in the Summer
- Easy Tips to Help You Reduce Media Usage