Were you able to turn off that TV last week? If you missed it or were not able to formally participate during the national "Turn Off the TV" week, you can still participate.
It is really never too late teach the kids the importance of limiting their screen time. In fact, now is a perfect time to focus your family's time away from the TV onto other activities! You can make it a fun family event, a challenge really. Kids like challenges if they are presented in a fun way.
What is most important, is that many families will find it easier to reduce TV time to the recommended 2 hours or less following an event or activity like this.
Keep it fun and positive so kids will look forward to it rather than dread it. And keep them involved - they have great ideas.
Resources to help you get started- it's important and it can really help your children/family reduce the amount of time they watch TV.
Reducing Kids TV Time Weekly Goals Tracking Chart- Printable Chart for Tracking Screen Time-
Children eat foods high in fat/sugar while watching TV. Children requested the foods they had seen advertised on weekend morning children’s TV broadcasts (Pediatrics International 2006)
If you are still not convinced that this is important, here are some statements from leading organizations:
1. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to avoid television and other electronic media for children two years of age and under.--AAP statement, August 2, 1999
2. Overweight U.S. babies are more numerous since 1980, a study in the journal Obesity found, growing to 6% from 3% of those under 6 months old. Wall Street Journal 2006
3. Seventy percent of day-care centers use TV during a typical day.--Tashman, Billy, "Sorry Ernie, TV isn't Teaching," New York Times, Nov. 12, 1994
4. In a study of preschoolers (ages 1-4), a child's risk of being overweight increased by six percent for every hour of television watched per day. If that child had a TV in his or her bedroom, the odds of being overweight jumped an additional thirty-one percent for every hour watched. Preschool children with TVs in their bedroom watched an additional 4.8 hours of TV or videos every week.--Dennison, et.al. 2002
5. Research now indicates that for every hour of television children watch each day, their risk of developing attention-related problems later increases by ten percent. For example, if a child watches three hours of television each day, the child would be thirty percent more likely to develop attention deficit disorder.--D. Christakis, Pediatrics, April 2004
6. One in four children under the age of two years has a TV in his or her bedroom.--Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children's Digital Media Centers, 2003
7. The more TV preschoolers watch, the less well they do academically in the first grade; also, The more TV preschoolers watch, the less well-socialized they are in the first grade.--Burton, Sydney, James Calonico and Dennis McSeveney, "Effects of Preschool Television Watching on First-Grade Children," Journal of Communication, Summer 1979
8. Children in households where the TV is on "always" or "most of the time" are less likely to read than are children in other homes. Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children's Digital Media Centers, 2003
Children six and under spend an average of two hours a day using screen media, about the same amount of time they spend playing outside, and well over the amount they spend reading or being read to (39 minutes).--Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children's Digital Media Centers, 2003