Time spent in front of the TV is time not spent reading, playing outside, or just thinking. And because television encourages children to be passive, it may also lead to learning problems.

By age 18, most kids will have spent more hours watching television than they will in school. This year, reduce the amount of TV your kids watch each day. Here are some tips that have worked for other parents:

  • Give your child a few “TV tickets” every week, each good for 30 minutes of television. When tickets are gone, the TV goes off. Some parents offer to redeem unused TV tickets for cash.

  • Take time to plan your children’s television watching. Write down the programs each child will watch. This helps your kids learn to watch programs, not just television.

  • Consider turning off the television one day a week. Plan other fun activities with your children. Play games. Go for a walk. And, of course, read.

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