Ready, Set…Unplug! Tv Turn Off Week is Coming!!

During my daughter’s 5th grade play yesterday, there was a very cleaver twist where the book community of fairy tails stood up against the new commercial venture of a TV production company wanting to put all their stories “live for all!”. In the end, Mother Goose herself kiboshed the idea reminding everyone that the point of books and stories was to entice kids to use their imaginations actively and that without that life and childhood would be boring. TV, they agreed, had a place but more for special events and a small amount of down time. Order was restored and they all lived happily ever after.

If only real life were so simple to restore order between plugged and unplugged media! National TV Turnoff week is a week away – just in time for school vacation week for many of us, and a time where many of us will be less plugged in by nature of our vacations. Perhaps we can use next week’s national event as a launching pad for a new and unplugged journey for all our families…what do ya say??

You’ve heard the studies on the news about the downsides of TV in bedrooms and the impact of too much TVs on young brains. I’m not going to go down that path today. I want you to just focus on family time – just old fashioned unplugged family time. To me, that is what our over-plugged obsession with the tube is eroding and what may have the biggest impact on our future society and lives. Add to that all the other issues of the myriad of studies you’ve been hearing about and it makes sense that we all try to unplug – perhaps using next week as the start of something new…to borrow from High School Musical.

You know the American Academy of Pediatrics is for this cause, but the NIH and other groups are, too. This should tell you how important cutting down screen time is for kids’ health!

This won’t be easy…I know. Some habits are hard to break but with a bit of prep time and replace time that was spent with tube time with other fun activities, it can be done. That, my friends, is the key. Don’t just unplug. Unplug with a purpose: a game with your kids, a walk, preparing a meal together, an outing somewhere, reading books all in the same room. The lists of possibilities are endless. I suspect after some initial resistance, your kids will quickly start coming up with unplugged things to do themselves. How do I know? Because they will quickly start to feel the amazing benefits that happen in a home when a family is really connected – and to each other, not to a TV.

I’ll blog more on this next week but wanted to put the bug in your ear now. To make this a positive experiences for your family, here are some links and ideas to get you on your way – check these out with your kids and let them know the clock is ticking on days to a new unplugged adventure!

TV Turn Off Week Website

We Can! Gets Involved With National TV Turn Off Week



  1. Thanks for sharing this Dr. Gwenn.

    I admit I have been watching more TV the past year or two. I’m hooked on a number of shows.

    I have one TV in my home, though, and it’s not in the bedroom.

    We all should spend more time outdoors and with family. I agree.

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