Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Are you a couch potato?

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace Chong - The Freeman

A six-year-old kid (son of a friend) named Julio asked me that question.

“Of course not!” I replied. “I am not, never was, nor will ever be a couch potato!”

A couch potato is a slang term that means: A person who spends much time sitting or lying down, usually watching television.

I explained, “I watch TV, too, but no longer than two to three hours per week.” Then I asked him back, “Why did you ask me that question?”

“My mom warned me that if I watch too much TV, I might become a couch potato. She said it’s not a very good thing for someone who goes to school like me.” 

* * *

I agree with Julio’s mom.

Any kid who goes to school must spend more time reading his textbooks, doing his homework, instead of watching TV.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not against watching TV. I am against watching too much TV, which can distract us from doing our immediate chores.

When my children were Julio’s age, their dad and I allowed them to watch TV for a total of only two hours per week, and only on weekends. Many of our friends also had this time limit for their children. When we exchanged notes, we all agreed that limited TV-watching time has three advantages:

1) It makes children concentrate on their lessons, with time to rest, and they therefore learn everything they need to learn in school;

2) It develops in them a love for reading;

3) It makes them more imaginative.     

* * *

Let me explain all those three advantages.

1) Since all our kids’ free time were spent doing their homework and resting afterwards, their minds were refreshed when they went to school the next day. They also knew the lessons because their homework were all done and studied well.

2) Because there was no TV during weekdays, they borrowed books from the library. When kids begin to love reading, they will grow up looking forward to reading the next book after finishing the last one.

3) According to experts, in tests among kids who love to read and kids who don’t, but spend hours watching TV, they found that those who read have better imagination and are more creative.

* * *

Why is that? They explained it thus: 

When you watch on TV a huge, yellow mountain, your mind tells you exactly that. However, when you read from a book, “huge, yellow mountain,” your imagination goes to work. The mountain could be as big as a dinosaur or as big as a palace. It could be yellow like a ripe mango or a dried leaf.

In short, your mind makes its own images, and it is not dictated by what your eyes see on the screen. It is dictated by your imagination – which can go as wild as you want it!

* * *

A niece narrated to me this story about her four-year-old son. “No more TV on weekdays since school is about to start,” she told him.

Her son, who still could not spell correctly, wrote her a letter: 

“Dir Mami I luv yoo but I like to wats TV”

But Mama stood her ground, which she called “tough love.”

“Honey, Mama loves you more, so I am doing what is best for you. I will read you a book every day instead of you watching TV, okay?”

* * *

FREE BOOK! Are you a couch potato? Please send your answers via my e-mail address: [email protected]; or my website: http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com on or before Sept. 30 and get a free book!












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