In these challenging economic times, it is a blessing to remember that there is one thing you can spend on yourself, your family and your friends that will cost you absolutely nothing . That one thing is time.
I hear people say that they can't find the time to do the things that they really want to do. We want to do things that are meaningful, yet we feel there are no spare minutes between housework, paperwork, work and homework. And when we do sit down with our families after an exhausting day, it is often in front of a television set.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Company, the average American watches more than four hours of television each day or 28 hours a week, equivalent to two months of nonstop television watching per year. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent nine years glued to the television.
I am am not a math genius, but it doesn't take much figuring to realize that all of us can easily find the time we have been looking for if we simply turn off the television and tune in to the people we love .
The truth is, when you turn the television off, you gain four more hours in your day. A day really seems like a day again. Without effort, there is plenty of time to do the things you want to do but just couldn't find the time before. And, most importantly, turning off the television is a gift to your children. You will have gained four hours to be with each other.
When you turn off the television, you will have made time to…
do craft activities
take a walk
read a story out loud to the kids
cook dinner together
have a conversation
be fully present
listen to the radio
give your full attention to others
listen to music
and lots more…
I realize that the thought of just turning the television off in your home can be a terrifying concept. You might even imagine from your worst fears that the kids will join together to protest this earth-shattering idea. In addition to the hollering and name calling, you're bound to hear they might even hold the family dog ransom until the television is turned back on.
Truth be told, you might get some push back if you just turn the television off. Instead, you can simply start to offer the kids some other things to do besides watching television. Your kids want to have fun, play, imagine, laugh, explore and discover new things, just like you do. They are hungry for time together, and within no time they will be loving the four hours each day they too have just been given.