This is a short — but definitely not sweet — post.
Just flip through the channels any time of day and you’ll realize that it’s possible your kids are watching any number of “reality” shows that promote mean-spiritedness. You won’t have any trouble finding these shows and you won’t have to go too far up the channel lineup to get a wake-up call. (It’s hard to admit you’re watching TV in the afternoon but tell your friends it’s research!)
It takes a little bravery but when your kids are watching shows that are based on people being mean to each other, it’s ok to tell them to “turn it off.” But first explain that it’s not “reality.” (Unless they keep watching and then it may become their reality.)
All in all, that takes about 10 seconds.
American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with new guidelines on media use and children. Really worth the more than 10 seconds (but only a minute or two) to read.
Depending on how old your kids are, Common Sense Media, is a great resource. Good to go to before telling your kids they can turn the TV back on.
(And do you want to hear something funny? When I just went to publish this post, the google ad to the right was about “What’s on TV today!” I actually find that hysterical.)