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.