I believe that one of the most damaging things in current society is television. Not exactly because of the shows or because of the contests themselves but because television has become a replacement to normal social behavior in most household. People have replaced talking to each other for watching television and many parents prefer to leave their children and hypnotize them in front of a television than to talk with them or teach them things themselves. I don’t have any cable in my house but I do watch some shows. For example I like “the big bang theory” or “seinfeld” and I watch them online from time to time.

It should be clear that I am not asking people to get rid of their televisions but to assign television a lower priority and not a central status within their house hold. For example, watching television while eating dinner or breakfast is a common practice in many house holds and it takes away a very special time in which family members can talk about their day. My objective with this post is to suggest five ways in which you can replace your current “television time” for activities which are bound to be much more rewarding and healthy for your family in the long term.

1. Just talk. As I said earlier, television has come to replace the actual dialogue between family members that used to take place over dinner. While I was growing up my family had a “no TV during dinner” policy which made us engage in conversations at least once every day. I can say right now that I thank my mom for this since it helped me to learn much more about her and my sisters, something which would have been more difficult if we hadn’t had this talk time for more than twenty years.

2. Play a Board Game. One of the most wonderful activities you can do as a family is to play some board games. Playing some monopoly, chess, checkers, risk or other entertaining family games is a very good way to keep yourselves away from the TV and yet enjoy a very wonderful time amongst each other. It helps you know each other’s personalities and it helps children to learn that in life sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

3. Put out a Jigsaw puzzle. Not only are these puzzles extremely entertaining but they can be enjoyed by people of all ages and they stimulate the brain in a very efficient manner. Putting a jigsaw puzzle together improves people’s patience, visual coordination, concentration and memory since these are all skills necessary to put them up together. You can either build small puzzles or you can put out a 1000 piece puzzle and put it together a little bit more each day.

4. Take a walk. Definitely just going out and taking a walk is a very good solution, specially if you have older children. The fresh air and the ability to do some exercise will improve your daily routine. You will also be able to talk with your family as you walk, something which will help you know yourselves better.

5. Cook something together. I remember that when I was younger my grand mother would make us join her in the kitchen so that we wouldn’t be “glued” to the TV. It was great to learn some of her “cooking secrets” and then be able to eat something we made with our own hands. Some of the most special moments I have enjoyed with my grand mother took place within ther kitchen and I can tell you that I remember them much more than the cartoon network shows I would have watched if she hadn’t made the effort to cook with us. This is probably better fit for older children (perhaps only +8 year olds) but younger children can also make some fun recipes or help with dough or some other parts of dessert making. In the end, there is great fun in cooking for all ages, a great replacement for television !

In the end you’ll see that what I am suggesting is merely that you replace television with some activities that will put your family closer together. Many of the problems that happen in modern society are a consequence of a lack of communication between children and parents or between spouses and having periods of time in which you do things together will help you improve your relationship a ton. You will learn a lot about each other and there won’t be any fear of communication if any problems happen as there will be a lot of times to bring things up.