Weekend Plans

Are you one of the 70% who say they do not have the time to do the things they really want to do? Hmm. Really?


What other groups do you fall into when it comes to television?

  • Children Watching Television

    Can you see the brain cells dying?

    99% of all homes have one television.

  • 45% have three or more, and more than half of children have a set in their bedrooms
  • 40 days: Average amount of television you watch in one year
  • 1,023 hours watching: Children only spend 900 in school, but 1,023…
  • 38.5 minutes: Average weekly time spent in conversation between parent and child

What if?

What if you turned off the television just one day per week for one year? You could:

  • Exercise the recommended amount of time for the entire week, every week.
  • Read more than 15 books.
  • Spend more time with your family.
  • Lose more than 100 pounds.
  • Finish two to fifty projects in your chosen hobby.
  • Write a memoir.
  • Take more than 10,000 photographs.
  • Volunteer.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Remodel your home room by room… twice.
  • Train for a successful marathon.
  • Complete two college courses by correspondence.
  • Learn to play a musical instrument.
  • Teach your children to garden.
  • Walk more than 5,000 miles.

Can you think of something you would like to do this year?

Not for Good Behavior

Unplug It

Unplug It

Parents often fall into the trap, but adults are not immune to it, either. Do not reward good (behavior, grades, room-cleaning skills, homework completion) with television. Do not give it power over your family. This also means not rewarding yourself to the Seinfeld marathon because you got your presentation done ten minutes before you left for work on the day it was due.

Stuffing the Brain

What are you really watching anyway? Better question still, what are your children seeing? Can you handle more statistics?

Eat it up with a spoon.

By age eighteen, your child will have been exposed to more than 200,000 acts of violence. This monstrous number includes 16,000 homicides. Almost 70% of programs include sexual references or acts. The average show with sexual content has five sexual scenes per hour.

44% of children admit they watch something different when their parents are not home, but only 15% of parents use the V-chip in their sets to enforce ratings prohibitions.

More than 1,000 studies in the last ten years causally connect media violence and aggressive behavior in teens. The more realistically the violence is portrayed, the greater the chance the behavior will be learned.

This is not limited to just violent, criminal behavior. Children exposed to excessive amounts of media violence are more likely to have acrimonious relationships with parents, teachers and authority figures, including arguing against authority and on principles governing moral behavior.

Would you be shocked to know 78% of those 18-24 believe stricter media regulations would decrease the amount of teen sex? Nearly 800 of the 1,000 surveyed thought it would.

Get My Hook

Good use of corporal punishment.

Chances of the industry curbing the sexual and violent content are nil. It is up to you. Turn off the set. Go outside and increase your vitamin D content. Get some exercise. Read a book. Do something you want to do.

Make friends. Help another family learn to turn off the set. By not wasting four to six hours a day, you can make a difference in someone’s life… your friends, those in need, your children. Most importantly, you can make a difference in your own level of satisfaction with your life.


You know the instructions are really simple.

  1. Turn off the television right now.
  2. Post a note on the refrigerator declaring tube-free days.
  3. Remove televisions from all but the family room. This means bedrooms, kitchen, study, bathroom and dining room.
  4. Make a list of what you would like to do, accomplish or learn.
  5. Do things on list.
  6. Read the guide. When you do watch, be choosy. Select programs which support the activities from #4. Gardening, music, history, DIY or home repair and educational programming should be your fare.


What would you do with a four hour block of time? Would you give up two days per week to accomplish two things from the list? What would you add to the list? Are you willing to unplug? Can you make a difference?

Hashtags: #MakeADifference #TV #Unplug

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© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Unplug the TV? You mean physically pull the plug? If I did a thing like that, Tracy would be extremely upset with me. Tracy loves her TV. I just don’t watch the damn thing.


  2. @ John –Get unplugged, including the computer. It will be good for you AND her. Try it for a few hours each day. You will be surprised; after two or three months of complaining, and beating you at Monopoly, and elsewhere, she won’t even miss it any more because you will be having so much fun healing! All you’ll have to do is recover from the daily beatings….. in the first four hours.
    1. Don’t leave any baseball bats or big sticks handy during the CTTE (Cold Turkey TeeVee Experiment.) … “:))
    2. Make notes. If you’re able to write, you’ll have a whole lot of painful stuff to write about , enough to publish a book.
    3. You’ll be able to sell that book to a Reality TeeVee Show. Your wife won’t want to watch IT because she’ll be cured of the TeeVee Habit by then.

    Aren’t you glad I’m such a helpul fellow?


  3. I have one friend who recently went TV free (with three children at home) and he loves it. They do more things together and have better times with one another. Good thoughts.

    • We will have the box on a lot (by comparison to when the big ones were smaller), but it is all educational things. I use it as a teaching tool instead of purely mind rot. There is no broadcast, cable or satellite available to them. When at the hotel, they turned it on, but wanted to know where the games and discs were, not understanding they were not everywhere there is a screen.

  4. See, John, I already tried that experiment, can’t talk right, see how I spelled “helpful? ” That’s what happens when you’re trying to recover from the withdrawal of TeeVee.symptoms

  5. We went off cable and I had no idea what commercials were doing to me and my kids (I even wrote a post about it – Parenting Tips I Learnt from TV.). It can totally suck the life out of you.

    • I am never amazed at how much commercials affect everyone. My autistic seven-year-old was four and still non-verbal. One night, she came into the bedroom and clear as a bell said, “It’s my money, and I want it now.” After that, the speech pathologist was put on notice. I need to go find that post of yours. Red.

  6. I have to admit I spend a lot of time on the PC doing my Echores and reading the news, then I watch a pre-recorded two episode of Batman, race for a few hours, then do whatever chores need doing before getting washed and off to bed.

    Life for me is easy at the moment, but that can change…

    Love and hugs!


    • Taking little steps away from the screen can be so healthy on so many levels, Pren. {HUGZ} Red.

  7. Some people would have a harder time tuning out for 4 extra hours a day. I’m disabled due to spinal issues (radiation therapy and surgery) and am mobile maybe 3-4 hours per day, the rest of the waking hours are spent exercising the dogs or writing and social networking. The TV hives me an escape, a way to escape reality for a few hours a nite, but I try not to turn it on until 7 or 8 at nite.

    If i could, i would spend more time outdoors, concentrating on wildlife and nature photography and just enjoying the great outdoors.

    • Try this:
      Take one half hour you would spend doing ________ and spend it take photographs. Replace one half television hour with manipulation of the images or writing about them. If you are not following John McDevitt, you need to…he has the guideline on how to get the most out of your images while blogging about them.

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