But how do you make dinner?

...and other questions about being TV free

How do you make dinner if you don't put your kids in front of the TV?
Include children in dinner preparations. Even young children can "chop" vegetables with a plastic knife or set the table. It takes a few minutes longer, but the children also learn valuable life skills.

How do you get time to yourself if you don't use television as a baby-sitter?
Often, children who watch TV are easily bored and don't know how to entertain themselves. TV-free children learn to play on their own and exercise their imaginations. Scheduled naps and quiet playtime can provide important downtime for parents as well as children.

How can you keep up with the news?
Many TV-free families rely on National Public Radio for their daily news and supplement it with local and national newspapers.

What about all those great PBS programs?
TV-free families acknowledge that some good television exists, but they don't find it good enough or plentiful enough to warrant having access to TV. Educators and researchers support these families' preference for firsthand experience, books, and directed play. One solution: Ask a friend to videotape good programs for your children.

Won't your kids be too different from other kids if they don't watch TV?
Children may struggle with feeling different, but few peers will actually snub them because they don't watch TV.

How do you follow sports?
TV-free families can be sports fans, but they get their sports the old-fashioned way: by listening to the radio, attending games, and participating. The occasional game on TV with friends or neighbors can become a special event, complete with popcorn.

—K.L.