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Letter: Parents have to model healthy behavior for kids

Parents have to model healthy behavior for kids

The other day I stopped in a fast-food restaurant for lunch. I settled down with my sandwich and coffee for a relaxing meal. Unfortunately, the peace and quiet was soon shattered by the sound of a television program being broadcast over a small hand-held device. I discovered that the device was in the hands of a little girl who was sitting at a nearby booth with her father.

The tinny sound of the television – obviously a comedy, judging by the screaming canned laughter – was audible throughout the restaurant. I hoped the father would say something, but he was engaged in a very audible phone conversation the whole time.

The little girl eventually moved to an empty booth by herself, device in hand, and what could have been a father-daughter lunch date turned into a frustrating experience for the diners all around them.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. Lately, I witness more and more children in restaurants and other public places transfixed by TV programs and video games, oblivious to the world and company around them. Please, parents, remember that kids need to unplug from time to time – and so do grown-ups.

When you’re in a public place, please use headphones if you’re going to be listening to TV or playing video games. Better yet, take a break and actually interact with one another. We can’t expect kids to live an active, balanced life if parents don’t model these healthy behaviors.

The Rev. Linda Malia

Buffalo