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Evidence continues to mount that parents should think hard about the use of media in their homes. Recent study findings include:

  • • Increased media use (TVs and computers) in a home significantly decreases the amount of time parents talk to their child and read with their child. Talking and reading with your child are critical to their language development.
  • • Young children playing in a room with a TV on look up at the screen on average 3 times every minute. Their attention to the screen interrupts the creative hands-on play that is best for brain development.
  • • TV use before bedtime is associated with decreased quantity and quality of infant and child sleep. By age 3 years, about a third of all American children have a TV in their bedroom…..this is clearly a bad idea!
  • • Youths who watch TV with violent or rude behavior and foul language are much more likely to behave violently, rudely, and use foul language. They also are more likely to believe that such behavior is acceptable and “normal” than teens whose family forbids that type of TV viewing in their home.
  • • College-bound high schoolers beware: over 350 top universities in the US routinely search the internet for information about applicants. For 12% of last year’s college applicants, the presence of negative information on Facebook and other internet sites (including reported alcohol and drug use, plagiarism, profane language, and revealing photographs) resulted in colleges refusing admission to those students. Talk to your teens….they may not anticipate that their social media use can have a direct impact on their college career.
Tagged in: Media TV Video Games

Posted by on in News

Exposure to violence from TV, movies, music and video games represents a significant risk to the health of children, according to research recently reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The average American child ages 0-6 currently spends two hours a day watching screen media, while 8- to 18-year-old children typically spend more than six hours each day. The presence of a TV set in a child’s bedroom increases the average time spent watching a screen by an hour a day. Images on children’s media are increasingly disrespectful and frequently overtly violent.

The effects of such heavy media exposure to violence for our children are becoming very clear. Homicide, suicide, and trauma are now among the top killers of children in the United States. Violent media directly leads children toward increased aggression, desensitization to violence and fear of being harmed.

Take active steps to protect your child from violent media by:

  • Removing TV sets and Internet access from bedrooms. Keep these forms of media within eyeshot of the family living space.
  • Helping your child choose appropriate non-violent games, movies and TV shows. Watch them together as much as possible.
  • Limiting screen time (except computer time spent directly doing homework) to one hour or less per day, except on special occasions like family movie night or a special sports event.
  • Supporting media that show non-violent, educational topics for children.
  • Opposing the glamorization of violence, weapons and demeaning behavior in your own home.
Tagged in: Media TV Video Games