One of the best things about sports is that they plant seeds of confidence at an early age that, over time, grow self-assured young adults. Sports also require activity, encourage endurance and healthier living, and a slew of other positives for healthy kids. So why is that we spend so much time encouraging healthy habits in our kids that we don’t reinforce at home?
While many of us spend our days working – in or out of the home – we tend to still find ways to spend far too much time in front of the TV. No, this isn’t going to be one of those “don’t let TV babysit your kids” post; it’s a “don’t let TV babysit you.”
Hear me out. TV may be a way that we pass time and clear our minds after a long day – but what other things could we be doing in that time? Not that you haven’t earned some veg time, but are you really relaxing and enjoying that valuable time? Would you be better served by reading a book or – crazy idea, chatting with friends and loved ones? Frankly, it’s a time suck that cheats you of valuable time and more fulfilling experiences. But besides that, it changes your behaviors and mindsets.
It’s so easy to get swept up in the drama of TV shows. Not only do those shows influence our ideas and opinions, but many shows use certain demographics to create humor, strengthening stereotypes and misconceptions. It can also create an unrealistic expectation of what life is going to be like at certain stages, not to mention create unrealistic expectations of the people that may come into our lives. The world is not filled with flawless skin, perfect figures, and chiseled muscles. We know this. So why do we immerse ourselves in content that makes it seem otherwise?
Beyond that, it’s sedentary time. With our young athletes, we limit TV and time left sitting around, and push them to get outside and stay active. Yet as soon as they’re out of sight, we tend to plop down ourselves for some screen time.
Our children learn from us – and often they learn more by observing us than they do from actually listening when we want them to. What do they see?
In too many cases, it may include a bit of hypocrisy, mixed with a blend of wanting to be something we’re not and embodying certain behaviors and characteristics better suited for reality TV than winning parents. That sounds harsh – and I don’t mean it to be. And more so, I hope it’s not the case for your house. But consider it…
Do I think this will make you get rid of every TV in your house? No. But I do hope that you’ll find a bit more time away from it and consider carefully what your kids – and you – watch when you do turn it on. After all, it isn’t just our kids that need activity, and kindness should always be the priority. Let’s show our kids how it’s done.
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