Q:

I am afraid that my children are spending way too much time in front of the TV.I know that they should spend less time, but I need ideas for activities that would hold my children's interest. - Help

A:

Try making one week a turn off the TV week. It is likely that your children's schools have encouraged families to turn off their television sets and substitute other, more enriching activities. For your children to discover that life can be more rewarding, fun and relaxing without viewing so much television, you will need to plan replacement activities.

If the set is just turned off, you and your children might sit around and feel bored. Instead, make an outline of the times that the TV is viewed in your home. Then choose different family and individual activities to fill these times. If family members can't think of activities, visit the TV-Turnoff Network's Web site at www.tvturnoff.org. Suggested activities are on the "Take Action" page as well as information on the national TV-Turnoff week.

To get into the spirit of the week, don't substitute watching DVDs or playing video or computer games for television viewing. After your TV set has been turned off for a week, evaluate how satisfying the week was. Then, if your family doesn't have firm rules about how much TV the children can watch, consider creating some. Having rules usually reduces children's TV-viewing time almost a half-hour a day.