Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Artful Life: 10 Crafty Tips to Boost a Child's Self-Confidence and Improve Academic Performance: #1

As parents, we strive to help our children grow up to be healthy, productive adults.  Times are changing faster than ever, and parents are working harder to make ends meet.  With constant introduction to new technology, as individuals and as a family, we have more choices than we've ever had before.  So how do we stay focused and ensure we give our children the best upbringing possible?  In this series we will share some tips we have found that help children develop a positive self image, and encourage success in the classroom.

#1: Kill the TV

kill your tv
image by George Foster, via Flickr

No you don't have to leave it by the side of the road, and you don't have to live without television all together, but have you looked at your cable bill?  Not only can you cut some cost from the family budget here, but you can add some serious time to the family schedule!  If you are a die-hard sports fan (and most of us are) this will be really hard, but what if you tried living without cable just long enough to re-qualify for that promotional rate? There's a lot of great things to view on television, but there's also a lot of junk.  Even with the convenience of TiVo and DVR, it's likely there are a lot of TVs broadcasting a lot of different things around the house. 

Take control of your television by watching the shows and movies you want, when you want to watch them.  Catch your news and sports scores on the internet and radio.  For TV series and movies, instant downloads from Netflix, and DVDs purchased or rented from the library will surprise you with their immense selection.   Give kids a break from comparing themselves to the kids on TV, and comparing their stuff with what they see in advertisements.  Try watching TV with no commercials and only at designated times of the day. 

Too extreme? What do you think?

Stay-tuned for tip #2 tomorrow!


  1. Great thought. We have been trying recently to limit TV for the kids and ourselves. It's a challenging habit to break, in this technology and information age. - Mitch S.

  2. This is one of my pet peeves - my kids BEG for tv in their rooms because " everyone else has them" I can't stand TV's in bedrooms. It's too isolating and you have no idea what they are watching - maybe it's old school but they'll never get them. I also limit TV and video games. Games are an earned reward and they only get an hour. GO AND PLAY - YOUR KIDS!!!! Ok I feel better now..... : )

  3. I recently was pointed towards a site called iTunes U. I don't own an iPod or any of those types of gadgets, not even a cell phone to be honest. But, the site offers all sorts of educational videos that can also be viewed on PCs and MACs. What really surprised me was the top 10 downloads for this week included a dress-rehearsal of Sleeping Beauty by the Royal Opera Company. One educator was also using his own video tour of the Galapagos Islands in his classes. Looks like tons of great alternatives to the typical mindless TV programming. The most popular videos offer language instruction. Seems like a great way for a family to do something different together - learn a foreign language - your own secret code as it where.

  4. We are a very creative family and the TV is hardly ever on. If we want to watch a movie, it's netflix or a dvd. I can't say enough about turning off the TV!

  5. I agree Heather! It's amazing how many choices are still available on Netflix and DVD, and how much you can catch on the internet!


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