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Where was your child the last time you saw him or her? Probably sitting in front of the television set-to the tune of 28.5 hours a week on average. Sure it's entertaining and instructive, but it can also be debilitating and destructive. Okay, it is a good babysitter, freeing up your time to do other things. But is everything your child learns from TV beneficial? Probably not.

a.. If you are looking for ways to reduce the amount of television your children watch, consider the following:Leave the TV off for a week. Seven days. Adults too. The first day or two might be difficult, but you might just discover a whole new world of other activities, things that could bring your family together. Replacement activities need not be fancy. Keep it simple. Play games, read books, listen to audio books, work jigsaw puzzles, listen to music, talk to one another, spend time outdoors, let children assist in preparing meals. Try this once a month.
b.. Attach a list of TV rules. Let the children help. What types of programs can be viewed. What times of the day to watch TV. How much time can TV be watched.
c.. Watch TV with your children. This way you can monitor what they are watching. On questionable programs, remind them that most shows are not real, just actors working from a script. Discuss what was viewed. By adding comments and observations, you make watching TV a social activity.
d.. Have your kids talk to someone who grew up before there was TV. Grandparents are a good source. What was life like? What did they do?
Be careful. You might find so many enjoyable alternate activities to do that you might actually not miss the tube. Anything is possible.