31 October 2009

Listening to the Family's way or TV's way

As seen in the Battleford's Regional Optimist

Do your children listen to you or do they listen to the television? Think about it. You tell your daughter she is beautiful, and smart. The television tells her that she is too fat and needs to be thinner and that she isn’t witty enough to get a boyfriend.
Which influences her more? For some reason the television normally does. The commercials or shows are telling her this, and she doesn’t even know them. But does she know you any better?
You need to show your children that commercial and billboard models are not real. Take them to YouTube and show them the “evolution dove commercial.” That should help them realize the falsities behind the TV. But that still does not mean that your child knows you better than the TV.
I remember a cartoon depicting a child’s family during the 70’s; brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandma, grandpa, parents, and other family member surrounded the child. Than it showed a child in the 2000’s surrounded by the TV, computer, Xbox, and other electrical gadgets.
According to the Media Research Council, 91 percent of parents think that the TV is too violent and too sex oriented. However two-thirds of children have a TV in their room, provided to them by their parents.
Children spend more time with the TV than any other activity, including time with family and at school. Your child, despite how entertaining the electronics are, wants to spend time with you, they are just using other things to fill their time.
Dr. Tremblay of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group has given Canadian children an ‘F’ for their activeness.
As such, here are some ideas of activities to do as a family to help your child get to know you and believe you when you say they are smart and beautiful.
This one is a must, have dinner together. If not dinner, have one meal together. Go for a walk scavenger hunt; look for random things like a tricycle, a red car, and the first to spot the list wins. Ask each other “what would you do with a million dollars?” Go stargazing. Play a card game or a board game. Go for a walk and get ice-cream or a slurpee. Challenge each other to crack a smile or laugh with jokes and funny faces.
Most of all spend time with your children. They need to know that you will invest your time with them. Show them you love them. Show them that you care. They will then believe you when you tell them positive things, and will realize that the television is lying to them.
This will put parents at the head of the home, not the television.