Television & Children

We all know that too much television rots the brain. We also know that it can be a valuable tool for teaching and entertaining our children and giving weary parents a break. That said, you may still be concerned with how much your children watch TV. I came across an interesting idea reading Carl Lennertz book Cursed by a Happy Childhood: Tales of Growing Up, Then and Now to help control the amount of TV a child watches. At the beginning of the week, Lennertz and his wife gave their daughter a jar of quarters – a dollars worth for every year old. For every half hour of TV the daughter wanted to watch, she had to pay a quarter. If there was any money left over the daughter was allowed to keep it. Lennertz notes that in time his daughter watched TV less, read more, and learned something about money at the same time. He does not note at what age this began, but this idea could be applied and shaped to age, situation (ie. video games instead of television), or parental desire (ie. less TV time than the quarters might allow). At any rate, this is the type of idea that can benefit parent and child while providing a means of control for the parents and involvement for the child.

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