With the recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which showed that kids 8-18 years old are consuming an average of over 7 hours of media a day, and the launch of the iPad, youth media consumption is an extremely relevant topic and it is more important that ever that parents take an active role in how much media their children are consuming.
“Younger and younger children are now in charge of how they consume media, and they are mostly consuming junk,” explains Dr. Eitan Schwarz MD DLFAPA FAACAP, author of Kids, Parents, and Technology: An Instruction Manual for Young Families and Child Psychiatrist. “Excessive consumption can cause emotional difficulties, as well as result from existing ones. Children need the thoughtful, active and positive guidance of their parents in this amazing Wild-West tech environment. Merely restricting access is just not enough.”
Dr. Schwarz offers the following tips for parents of infants through eight-year-olds worried about their children’s current and future uses of these technologies:
- Take Charge - Have confidence and take charge. You can manage this important area of your kids’ lives. Many parents too readily take a back seat and let kids take the lead. In what other important area of life would they let that happen?
- Media are Appliances - Start thinking of media as family appliances that must have positive values. Kids treat media as toys, but they are in fact adult tools with enormous power. Would you let your unsupervised young child use the telephone or oven? Only devices with proven benefits belong in children’s hands.
- Technology is Healthy - From infancy onwards, teach kids to appreciate technology as a healthy and routine part of family life. Starting young, children will learn that using technology is collaborative and social -- and not an isolating solitary activity.
- Include the Whole Family - Create a new environment around the online family computer and other media to promote mutuality, fun, respect, and development for the entire family. Moving the home computer away from the wall and arranging seating all around it will make it a popular center for family life.
- Make Media a Positive Learning Tool - Just as you already shop for healthy food, harvest the positive opportunities offered by media. For example, for every age group there are wonderful Internet sites that offer a world of learning entertainment experiences.
- Create Healthy Media Rules - Tailor healthy media diets into daily menus for each child to provide development opportunities. For example, regularly require enough online time on sites that enhance good values and education enrichment.
My Take On The Book
Today children are inundated with technology and media. From an early age they have every little bit of technology at their fingertips. It is hard as a parent to hold them back from using or getting swept up in the hype of this, but we try never-the-less. This book provides readers with a collection of resources and tools that help to arm parents and other loved ones against the technology and media that may be causing issues within your family. The book works to help parents see that media can be used as a positive influence in a child's life.
The book is practical and hands on and truly helps parents guide their children in using interactive media proactively so that they learn and continue to develop in a positive manner.
If you are a parent or a loved one that has a young child that you interact with, this book is something that will open your eyes and help to control the influence that media may have on your child, I highly recommend it.
If this book wounds like one that you would like in your own collection you can find it on Amazon!
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