Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, digital parenting, media literacy, parents and technology, tech free time, television

The Television Broke Down and Six Years Later We Replaced It

Click to check out these American Academy of Pediatrics resources.

Read No TV for Children Under 2 Doctors’ Group Urges, in the October 18, 2011 New York Times. This isn’t a new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), just a reminder of how seriously they believe in their media literacy recommendations.

I don’t mention this often, but 30 years ago when our television broke, we had a new baby and not enough money, so we decided to put off the purchase of a new TV. The delay went on for six years until our daughter was seven years old. Originally we did not make a decision out of any deep philosophical principles — and back then there was a lot less research about the effect of TV-watching on young children — we simply did not have money that we wanted to spend on a new set just then (or we had other things we wanted to purchase — I really don’t remember). However, gradually we forgot our plans to purchase a new television because we liked what happened in our family.

We read more, we listened to music more, we ate less junk food, and during the times we were at home, we played lots of games and went to the park almost every day after we returned from work. By age 2-and-a-half our daughter could beat both of us at any memory game we put out on the table. We also read aloud, all the time. In fact, we read so much that sometimes we needed to go to the public library twice a week. Listening to the radio, sometimes NPR and at other times classical or oldies was a regular activity, and we went to movies.

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Posted in acceptable use, American Academy of Pediatrics, cell phones, digital citizenship, digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, digital photography, parents and technology

Evaluating websites: Be Sure of the Quality!

Download the phone contract PDF.

It’s May and every year at this time I work extensively with fifth graders on podcasts and other multimedia projects. Each year the students’ conversations drift toward their anticipation of sixth grade, middle school … and new cell phones. A connection exists, in their minds, between the first year of Middle School and getting the all-important digital accessory. Actually, the kids feel it’s an accessory, but their parents consider it a lifeline — something to keep them connected to their children whenever it’s necessary (and sometimes when it isn’t that necessary).

A good getting-started article to read is the New York Times piece When to Buy Your Child a Cell Phone, written by reporter Stephanie Olsen in June 2010. While quite a few children now have cell phones in sixth grade, a few parents prefer to wait to purchase a child’s phone for a year or so beyond the start of Middle School. Common Sense Media’s cell phone page provides lots of helpful information for parents, including a short video to assist with the decision-making process. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Healthy Children website also has an article, Cell Phones, What’s the Right Age?

Continue reading “Evaluating websites: Be Sure of the Quality!”

Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, digital parenting, media literacy, parent education, parents and technology, social media, social networking

Scary Headlines? Main Media Outlets Need Media Literacy Training!

Who writes these headlines? On it’s HealthyChildren.org site, The American Academy of Pediatrics comes out with a balanced, well-written, and thoughtful social media guide for physicians — one that encourages pediatricians to focus on wellness by paying attention to the media and social media activities of their patients, and this is the headline (at Time)?

“Facebook depression” is a small part of the policy statement, but the benefits and the learning opportunities offered by social media are a larger part. Rather than focusing on the positives and on the recommendations for moderation, the media is shouting out the negatives. My fifth grade media literacy students can run circles around these headline writers.

A recent US News and World Report article features a headline that is balanced and far more sensible.

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Posted in acceptable use, American Academy of Pediatrics, digital citizenship, digital parenting, parent education, parents and technology, social media, social networking

Pediatricians, Parents, and Digital Kids, Part I

AAP Media History Form

This morning I was thrilled to read the newest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy focusing on social media and children. The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents and Families, written by a group of pediatricians and led by Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe (also the author of CyberSafe: Protecting and Empowering Digital Kids in the World of Texting, Gaming and Social Media), provides a set of social media guidelines for physicians to use with teen and tween patients as well as with parents. Published in March 28, 2011 edition of the journal Pediatrics, the social media statement describes the benefits and risks of the digital world, avoids judgmental comments, and suggests strategies that can make is safer for children.

Continue reading “Pediatricians, Parents, and Digital Kids, Part I”