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April 30th through May 6th is being presented by CCFC (Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood) as National Screen-Free Week. According to CCFC, Screen Free Week is…

“Screen-Free Week is a national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend several days turning off entertainment screen media and turning on life. It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend time with family and friends.” (CCFC)

This article is a perfect example of why it is so necessary to limit a child’s media consumption, and it comes from a great site called, “Emma’s Children”:
http://emmaschildren.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/screen-time-tv-computers-and-your-kids/
…and here’s an excerpt:

Here’s Our Top 5 Tips for Getting Your Child’s Viewing Habits Under Control…..

  1. Set a time limit before they even turn on the TV or computer. It helps if they have a visual such as a timer and reminders about how much time they have left. When the timer goes off, so does the screen. This should go on without question. No negotiations! The easy thing is you can always unplug the electronics if they resist.
  2. Homework and chores must be done before TV or computer time. Check their homework and ensure they finish chores. Viewing time will be much more rewarding for both of you.
  3. Present your child with alternatives when time is up. This may make the transition easier and they are less likely to argue. Games, reading, arts and crafts, sports – plan something out that is readily available to them.
  4. Know what your child is doing. Check out their online activity and have them explain the game to you and whether or not it is online or a disc, etc. Do they play or chat with other people? Use your safety judgement. Violence is out and age-appropriate is in, especially with things they show on TV.
  5. Have a solution for their protests. Yes, they may be in the middle of a game or show but they should have known their time was coming to an end. Ask them to save the game they are playing or suggest you record the rest of the program. DVR is a great option, too.

*** MORE TO COME ***

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