Are you a crappy American parent?

The Economist noted last month that the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development had completed an 8 year study of television viewing habits across the globe.

The verdict: A lot of American parents must either dislike parenting, or really stink at it. That or they have “better things to do” and use the TV as a stand-in parent (ie: they’re idiots).

Why? Because the study on TV viewing shows the AVERAGE American household is watching TV more than EIGHT hours a day.

That’s an average, not the peak.

Translation: for every home with 4 hours of viewing, statistically there’s another one with TWELVE. (keeping in mind what Mark Twain said about statistics).

Even if this figure is 20 or 30% off, that’s still a big number.

Here’s a few tips for parents (using the term loosely) of couch potato(e<g>) kids:

  • Turn off the danged TV set, or at least turn it off more often.
  • Show the kids where the library is.
  • Get em involved in Scouts or Boys and Girls Club or something – anything but planting their plumpish buttocks in front of the TV with a box of Pop Tarts.
  • Remind them what a swimming pool, soccer field, hiking path, bicycle, tennis racket, golf club, hockey skates, fishing pole and/or baseball glove look like.