I want to share with all of you a miracle product that can change families for the better almost over-night. It can increase your time and connection as a family. It’s my revolutionary new product called, “The TRU Parenting Brick.” You may be saying, “How can a brick improve my relationship with my kids?” Well, I’ll tell you. Follow each of the following steps and then watch your relationship with your child and spouse grow and flourish.
- Order my product, “The TRU Parenting Brick” for three easy installments of $19.95.
- When the Brick comes in the mail, excitedly remove it from the box.
- Walk to your living/family room or room with the nearest TV, with the brick in hand.
- Aggressively throw the brick through your TV screen. (Some may have to do this several times due to their lack of aim).
- Repeat this with each TV in your home.
- Watch what happens to your children, yourself and your family!
Please don’t flood my email with all of your testimonials and praise for the product. We are concerned that if everyone does this, our server will crash!
Other uses for the TRU Parenting Brick:
- Hammer things (whatever you want to hammer, nails, fence posts, anything really)
- Use it for a paper weight
- Build a house with them (it will take more than one to do this)
- Smash spiders (Please clean it afterwards)
- Use it as a step stool for your kids
- So many other uses!
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m joking. There is no product and I’m not encouraging you to literally throw a brick through your TV. Nevertheless, I do stand behind the sentiment and claim that getting rid of the TV can have a significant effect on your parenting and life success. Seth Godin was once asked how he gets so much done and he offered three things that contribute to his huge production level. He said, “First, I don’t do meetings. Second, I don’t watch TV. Third, I do things that scare me every day.”
For most people, just simply separating themselves from daily programming can award them several more hours of time per day. Neilson reports that the average American watches 34 hours of TV per week and this number has grown over the last few years. The number of hours watched increases with age. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report (2012) on average daily TV time was not quite as extreme, but is still incredible at 2.8 hours per day. At those statistics, that means that a person that lives to be 70 years old will spend roughly 14 years of their life watching TV at the higher statistic and 8.5 years at the lower statistic.
Don’t get me wrong
I like a good movie or show as much as the next guy or girl. I love to go to the movies or to just sink into the couch every so often and “veg out.” It can be fun and relaxing to enjoy a show now and then but when it becomes the focus of my time in the home and a distraction from the things that are most important, it begins to suck the life from the family. I have to confess that I have not actually used the product above. I have a television in my home. We have no cable or even connection for basic channels but we do use it to watch movies or shows at our discretion. This allows us to monitor what we watch without being bombarded with ads and other content that we have no interest in seeing. Our modern technologies have made various alternatives to running the TV all the time.
- We can get our news online.
- We can rent or stream movies to our home TV in no time.
- We can get whole seasons of a TV show on services like Netflix,Hulu, Redbox, appletv, or Roku.
- We have DVR’s that allow us to record programs and watch them when it is not an interruption.
These technologies allow us to cut out the advertisements and not be beholden to the network’s time table. They allow us to be more deliberate with making media choices. However, the statistic show that this has not been their use. Consumption has actually increased with these technologies. My plea is that parents would shut it all down during the prime hours of the day (Waking time).
Make watching a movie or a TV show an exception rather than the rule. Make watching TV a treat that you do together that promotes togetherness rather than just taking away from that connection. Take the TV’s out of individual rooms. Instead of watching 34 hours a week alone, cut it back to 2-4 hours a week together and use the time that you gain to connect, learn or improve your health!
Now, for you reality TV or sports fans out there, I really don’t know what to tell you. I know that for the avid football fan, baseball fan, basketball fan, Bachelor fan or Duck Dynasty Fan, it is a lot to ask to DVR the game instead of watching during dinner or other family times. Remember that the word “fan” is short for “fanatic” which means, “A person filled and motivated by an extreme, excessive, unreasoning and single-minded enthusiasm and zeal for a specific object, cause, etc.” I’m not suggesting that you can’t watch your sport or your reality TV show. Just be aware of its impact and if you can find ways to not make it the center of your evening routine with your family, it will serve you well.
Before I met my wife, I was an excessive TV watcher but we resolved that it would never be the centerpiece of our home and family and she has helped keep it that way. I have noticed the following benefits individually as well as for my family…
Benefits of killing your TV
- Less ads- kids want less stuff: Statistic Brain reports that the average child will see 16,000 TV commercial each year. My kids already want enough stuff from simply walking through Walmart, viewing billboards on car rides or salivating over their Lego Catalog. I don’t have to invite more advertising into my home, especially without my consent.
- Manage what your family sees: It helps to limit violence, sex, and profanity. Necause the bucket principle applies here. What goes in a bucket will inevitably come out of that bucket. The same Statistic brain report states that the average child will view 150,000 violent acts on TV by the time they are 18 years old. In my opinion, that is too much violence.
- Presence-more mindful: I have a bad habit when a TV is on of tuning everything else out. I don’t know very many people that can be truly present with their children when the TV is on.
- Better physical health-more physically active: Many studies show that the less screen time children or even adults have, the more active and healthy they are.
- More connected family relationships: You start to see things you never saw before. You laugh at each other’s jokes instead of the sitcom on TV. You look at each other more and people really listen.
- Less distraction for kids from homework, chores, etc: TV is a huge distraction for children when they are supposed to be completing a chore. It promotes poor attention.
- More active minds: TV provides all of the amusement our minds need. Turning it off challenges us and our kids to use our imagination and creativity. It promotes greater thoughtfulness.
- Extra time you didn’t know you had: You know how everyone is always saying, “I never have time to…” You will be amazed at the new block of time you will have to do all the things you wanted to do but didn’t think you had time for.
- Kids learn to entertain and regulate themselves: After the initial shock of killing the TV, kids actually have less boredom and become more capable of finding ways to entertain and use their time wisely.
- Promotes reading and learning: People love stories and when we can’t find stories in watching mindlessly we start to seek them out from other sources. Books provide entertainment but challenge our minds and habits.
These benefits are real and there are more that you can find and explore with your family. I challenge you to try a “throw a brick through your TV challenge.” Do without TV for a week or two or four. See what happens. Keep a positive outlook and search for other ways to engage with your family and use that time. You will be amazed by what you find!
Question: What will be the hardest part about “throwing a brick through your TV,” so to speak ?
Don’t forget to download your FREE copy of “5 Jump Starters for Powerful Family Cycles: Creating Happier and More Effective Parenting THIS Week!”