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            Like most parents I really try to limit the time that the television is on in our house. My husband and I rarely watch it anymore but the kids, well they are kids. It is off during the day here for the most part. When three o’clock rolls around, they know that they have permission to turn it on, because three o’clock is time for Ellen. My children adore the talk show, and honestly, I am absolutely fine with it.
            I don’t sit there and watch, but I do pay attention when the show is on and it’s got everything that my children enjoy. She plays lots of practical jokes, shows people’s slightly inappropriate face book pictures (but does it in a very lighthearted way). She airs texts gone wrong, and silly things that children say. She passes on jokes from twitter. Aside from interviews that might go on for a bit, there is nothing in the show’s content that doesn’t entertain my kids. They love it.
            I love that Ellen DeGeneres is such an outstanding human being, and that it radiates from the woman. It almost makes me want to smile when I see her smiling on television. She has such a positive attitude, and even when she does have something negative to say she presents it in the form of a joke…smiling away the whole time. She is always seeking out people in unfortunate situations and reaching out to them to offer them a hand up. What better example of an extraordinary person could I hope to have my kids witness for an hour in the afternoon. I’ve practically started to consider it part of their home schooling curriculum.  
            I believe that my children are at a specific age where they are being let down by the media. When I happen to see Arthur, or a Sesame Street character on TV. I want to cry a little because my kids have no interest in PBS anymore. The only thing that is available to them that I see has any redeeming qualities in the area of children’s programing is Phineas and Ferb. I am very inspired by the cartoon’s message that children can achieve the impossible. I like the show’s musicality and it’s outlook on the stupidity of evil. Everything else geared at their age group I find either totally weird, way too violent, or filled with snotty teenage actors encouraging my children to be disrespectful to adults. Yuck!
            I don’t know why the media has abandoned the ten-year-old age group so entirely. Maybe this fact can explain the popularity of Phineas and Ferb. Obviously, the kids are looking to watch something. In the evenings my daughters watch Xena Warrior Princess re-runs. The kids all watch old Full House re-runs, and they will watch an entire Harry Potter movie when it is on TV. What I wouldn’t give for PBS shows geared at older children! I remember watching 3-2-1 Contact when I was around ten and I loved it.
            Anyways, I appreciate the time that my kids spend watching Ellen in the afternoon. If your kids are ever home when it is on, you should see if they find any interest in it. I think that the woman is a great role model for kids these days. My kids were distraught for two weeks in a row this summer when her show was pre-empted because of a trial that was being televised. I am particularly fond of the way that Ellen chooses to close her show each day. She says: Be kind to each other. Short, sweet, and simple; it’s a message that I am glad my children are getting.


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1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks