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Try This: Judge Good TV Shows

Tween watching tvIt’s totally OK to chill out sometimes and watch your favorite TV shows. As long as you're watching good TV shows, one or two hours of TV each day can be OK. Watching more TV than that makes it hard for you to get up, move around, and be active like your body needs. Or if you like watching TV at night, too much TV could be keeping you awake at night when you need to be sleeping.

So what if you watch way more than an hour or two of TV a day? How can you pick which shows to watch and which shows to skip so that you can cut down your TV watching and have more time for playing, moving, and hanging out with friends?

You get to be the judge! Good TV shows are ones that make you feel good about yourself and other people. Don't waste your TV time on shows that made you feel sad, tired, or bad about yourself. 

To help you decide, make a list. Next time you turn on the TV, write down the name of the show. While you're watching it, think about what the show is trying to say and how it makes you feel. When your TV show is over, ask yourself these questions to help you give the show a score: thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Then write your score by the name.

Thumbs-up means it might be a show you still want to watch. Thumbs-down -- turn off the TV and go kick around a soccer ball, go for a walk, or try an active video game.

1. Why are you watching this show?

Think about questions like:

Did you find it while you were flipping through channels, or do you watch it all the time?

Do your friends watch it?

These questions help you figure out if the show is really important to you and could get a thumbs-up. If you only watch because your friends do -- not because you want to -- give it a thumbs-down.

2. What did you think of the show?

Think about questions like:

Did you like this TV show?

What did you like most about it?

What didn't you like about it?

If you can think of positive things you like about the show, maybe it gets a thumbs-up. But if you think of more things you didn't like about it, it gets a thumbs-down.

3. How did the show make you feel?

Think about questions like:

Did the TV show make you mad or sad?

Did it make you want to hurt something or someone?

Did it make you feel good or bad about yourself or your friends and family?

Did it relax you?

Did it make you want to get up and move?

TV shows that are violent can make you violent, and shows that make you feel bad are a negative influence you don't need. They get a thumbs-down. Relaxing and moving are good for you. So shows that make you happy and calm get a thumbs-up. So do shows that make you want to move around.