Too Much Technology?

• Have your children keep a TV and/or video game diary or log to see how much time they spend on these activities.
• Brainstorm ideas for activities your child would like to do instead of watching TV or using the computer. Keep an ongoing list of these activities on the fridge or some other prominent place.
• Limit television viewing to a total of ten hours a week or less.
• Have at least one day a week in your home when the TV or computer is not turned on at all, except for homework or Internet research.
• Encourage reading in your home. Limit your own TV viewing and read a good book instead. Follow up on an interesting TV program by finding a book in the library on the same topic or theme. There are many appropriate books for children of all ages.
• Speak out about commercials or programs which show complex problems being solved by engaging in violence, taking a pill, or coming up with an easy but unrealistic solution. There are very appealing to many children.
• Surfing the Internet is in the same category as watching TV and playing video games. Using the Internet for research or the word processor for homework is a different type of activity and is more akin to studying and writing.
• Learn about learning styles. Help your child recognise their strong and weak learning styles. Compare this with your own.
• Set aside a “study time” in your home every night. No activities other than studying (assigned homework or studying a topic of individual interest) should be allowed during study time.
• Encourage your child to teach things they know to someone younger or to someone older. This gives a great sense of accomplishment.

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