I don't intend to judge here, but I am amazed at the amount of homes which feature an ever-running TV. In the age where "they" say TV is dead, many houses still bask in the glow of the television light. If I jog through a neighborhood at night, or drive slowly, I will notice a bluish light peeking out through the drapes. Of course, in houses with open drapes, I jog by more slowly. Here is a quote that make me say, "Gulp!"

Children aged 2-11 watch over 24 hours of TV per week, while adults aged 35-49 watch more than 33 hours, according to data from Nielsen that suggestsTV time increases the older we get. The average American watches more than five hours of live television every day. - (http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954)

We have been invited to homes where the intent was to get to know each other. The entire time of the visit, the TV was playing in multiple rooms. Remember that even with "clean" shows, there are commercials. Do I remember anything that we talked about. Not really. I do remember some details for the programs that were playing. I will admit it, I am easily distracted. Put shiny moving objects in front of me and I look. On the other end of the spectrum (What does the spectrum look like, by the way?) there is the home which has become free of TV. I applaud the decision. That is a bit of a challenge for a guy who runs a TV station to tell people to burn their Samsungs.

Let us ask the wise owl if there is a Middle Way. OK, I just asked him and I will translate, because his answer sounded like, well, "Hoo."

There is a way to enjoy TV and actually turn it off after one is finished. There is a way to make an event out of watching television.

Here are three ways that he suggested (I think it is a guy):

intentional tv time

We can be lulled into missing important goals, hours of sleep, and taking up wrong eating habits by feeling a need to see that game or watch the show that just came on. Sometimes, the TV can seem to dictate our other habits just by the fact that it is on and has so much to offer our senses.

a date with TV

Set up key times during the week as dedicated television watching times.

TV plan

Limit your exposure by picking qualified programs and making a point to watch together. Pictured above isĀ one example of how to make this work. Let each person choose a show, and let the rest of the family snuggle up and watch with you. Dad, that does not mean that Fox News is appropriate. The stuff they talk about on any news program, on a regular basis, is depressing, dark, and inappropriate for children.

Most of what we view are 30 minutes in length. Thursday night is our popcorn and movie night. Sometimes we have fun with the concessions and sell treats as well. This is our in-house fundraiser. The quarters go into our vacation fund.

Here's Basically The Deal. Don't let TV run your life. Use the mighty control of the remote. Turn it off when you eat. Turn it on when you want to relax and get close as you share a laugh or two. I honestly don't think that any of us will be in heaven one day discussing that episode of Simpsons that we missed.

What shows does your family enjoy? Do you have a movie night? Sports night?

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