Did you ever walk into a friend’s home for coffee and conversation and feel overwhelmed by the distraction of a big honking TV, right there in the living room, running some mindless show and competing for everyone’s attention?
Are you constantly worried about what kind of trash Junior might be watching at all hours on the TV in his room?
Is TV the dominant social presence in your home?
Are you afraid to limit your kids’ usage because you’ve tried to go down that road before and it was nothing but whining and complaining and breaking the rules?
If you answered “YES!”, or have any other TV issues constantly in the back of your mind, then it’s time to step up and establish manageable standards and limits in your home. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and a whole lot to look forward to once you get over the hump and introduce protocols that are fair and consistent.
Here are “10 Rules” from All Pro Dad that should help right the ship just in time for the summer break from school.
TV is a privilege, not an inalienable right: Supervision and usage of every TV in the house must fall 100% under the dictatorial authority of the parents. This is a foundational and non-negotiable principle.
TV’s natural posture is “OFF”: This idea is apparently novel! However, television as a constant background noise and a background visual is not only distracting, but it is anti-social. In the absence of a well-considered decision to watch a specific program, there is no good reason to have the TV on.
Parental modeling must be consistent with household standards: It simply doesn’t work to have one set of guidelines for children and a “blanket waiver” for mom and dad. Obviously acceptable content shifts with age, but if standards such as decency and over-usage are good enough for the children, then they’re good enough for the grown-ups too.
Turn the television off when “company” enters the house: Have you ever noticed how good conversation is stilted at “sports restaurants” with multiple screens? TV catches your eye, your ear, and your attention. But people and conversation are much more important. Keep the TV off, unless the purpose of the invitation is “The Game”, or “Movie Night”, or “Let’s Watch the Debate”.
TV has no place in the bedroom: “How can I stop my ten-year-old watching South-Park late at night?” Well, it’s not going to be such an issue when there’s no TV in his room! TV is easier to monitor in “family” spaces. Remember, it’s not a right.
TV is always off during family mealtimes: Mealtimes are for conversation, checking in, sharing family stories, and the teaching of manners and social skills. TV sucks community right out of the room.
Only parents may program access and restrictions: This is another version of the “who’s in charge?” question. Take this bull by the horns, and make sure it’s clear that your home is “parent run.”
“Stupid” and “mind-numbing” can be as harmful as “immoral” and “violent”: Make sure that your standards are not only clear, but also consistent. It’s important to make decisions about programming based on content, not just rating.
TV is more fun when it is not overused: Moderation turns out to be the opposite of “kill-joy.” Rather than taking the fun out of family entertainment, moderation eliminates the inflationary “I’m tired of this” or “I’m bored” reaction. Carefully vetted - and well-supervised - family viewing ramps enjoyment up a notch.
TV must take its place among a broad spectrum of family activities: Think of TV as one more piece in the entertainment puzzle. Family games, outings, “reading time”, projects, homework, television, computer games, sports… These and other activities are all valid but also in need of balance. When TV finds its proper balance, then abuse of the privilege will likely all but disappear.
Online Registration has closed.
Event is sold out!
Walk-up registrations will not be available the day of the event.
If you would like to be put on a waiting list for this event or future events, please fill out the form below.