Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital kids, digital parenting, parents and technology

Screenagers: An Excellent New Documentary & Digital Parenting Resource

Watch the official trailer below.
Watch the official trailer below.

I just finished reading a New York Times Well Blog article about Screenagers, a new documentary that addresses the challenge that too much screen time presents for families. The March 15, 2016 piece by Jennifer Jolly interviews Dr. Dulaney Ruston (read about some of her past projects), the director of the documentary, Screenagers. Dr. Ruston is also in the film.

This movie shares evidence-based scientific research on screen time — a reason the movie will become an important resource for educators and parents as they struggle with the issue of how to manage 21st Century young people and screen time. The experts in the film offer advice about how to support and guide young people as they grow up in a densely digital age. Thank goodness the film focuses on facts and does not inspire fear.

The issue of parents designing and using contracts or agreements and how much they help parents and kids focus on important screen times issues come up in the article and in the documentary. You can check out a comprehensive list of sites that offer these types of contracts and agreements on MediaTechParenting.net. You can also read this blog’s digital parenting checklist.

View the Screenagers Official Trailer                                Continue reading “Screenagers: An Excellent New Documentary & Digital Parenting Resource”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices, digital life, media diet, parents and technology

Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.44.51 PMCheck out a cool infographic over at Tuned in Parents that addresses many screen time questions. The image was created using information from a broad array of evidence-based research conducted by organizations such as Common Sense Media, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Zero to Three, PBS, and a number of research sources, and the infographic addresses many of the questions that parents continuously mull over.

Screen time is for many of us is a conundrum. Most parents and teachers (and grandparents, too) wonder just how to balance the time children spend with screens. Our goal, after all, is to create digital wellness for our children and ourselves — a sometimes lofty goal.

We have many questions including: Continue reading “Screen Time: Myths & Facts (and More)”

Posted in 21st Century life, 21st Century parenting, digital devices and gadgets, digital life, digital parenting, kids' advice for parents, media and family life, parents and technology, screen time

What to Do About Screen Time – A Diane Rehm Show Discussion

Click to check out the report’s infographic..
Click to check out the Common Sense Media research report’s infographic.

This past week I listened to New Research On Teens, Toddlers and Mobile Devices, an engaging radio program about digital parenting on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR). In early November 2015 Rehm featured four expert guests who thoughtfully examined the digital parenting issues that adults should consider when it comes to digital media and children. It was rebroadcast in  December 2015.

The program appeared to be timed to highlight a recently released report, The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens (2015). Educators and parents will learn a lot by listening to this broadcast or reading the transcript and by checking out the program’s resource links.

A new year—with new devices and new considerations about rules and limitation—is a good time to listen to experts who can help adults think more carefully about how to define screen time and discuss the research (and the need for much more). This program can help adults guide children whose 21st Century lives are increasingly defined by digital activities.                         Continue reading “What to Do About Screen Time – A Diane Rehm Show Discussion”

Posted in advertising, American Academy of Pediatrics, digital kids, digital world conversations, media diet, media literacy, screen time

Advertising With Kids as Targets

For several months I’ve been carrying around a New York Times article, How Advertising Targets Our Children, from the February 11, 2013 edition. Written by pediatrician Perri Klass the Well Blog post points out that recently published research links, even more strongly, the exposure of alcohol advertising to a child’s movement toward unhealthy behaviors.

Health Children Media Ed
Check out the Media Resources at HealthyChildren.org.

Dr. Klass writes about Exposure to Alcohol Advertisements and Teenage Alcohol-Related Problems (abstract), a Pediatrics article describing new research that finds a stronger association between unhealthy behaviors and the amount of advertising in the lives of children and adolescents. The researchers followed nearly 4,000 children in grades seven through ten.

Read the full text of the Pediatrics article.

In her article Klass quotes the researchers, experts from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy, and pediatrics professors from the Children’s Hospital at Stanford University who have studied the links between childhood obesity and screen time.

Continue reading “Advertising With Kids as Targets”

Posted in digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, family conversations, parents and technology, Screen-Free Week, setting technology limits, teaching digital kids

Screen Free Week — for Schools, Churches, and Families

Take the Screen Free Week Challenge!

Every year the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood sponsors Screen Free Week. 

The April 30-May 6, 2012 week-long activity, which for years was a turn-off-the-TV event, aims to encourage children and their families (and yes, adults with their digital devices), to be less dependent on activities in front of screens, encouraging all of us to consider other types of activities such as reading, playing outside, board games and exercise.

The point of Screen-Free Week is not to forget about digital activities, stop doing homework, and ignore the work that needs to be accomplished each day. Rather it’s a time to think carefully about the digital screen logjam in our lives and consider just how much time we are spending in front of  TV, computers, iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, and other gadgets — and whether some of that time is better used for other things.

Just about everyone needs to come up with strategies to balance screen time activities with the rest of our lives, perhaps adding a bit more variation and creativity to our daily endeavors. But the week can also be a time to think about the quality of life. We should be asking ourselves, “How can we use our devices to learn and collaborate more, and are there ways they might help us grown into more productive citizens?”

The organization’s website describes the week as a celebration. Continue reading “Screen Free Week — for Schools, Churches, and Families”

Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, answers to media questions, digital devices and gadgets, media literacy, parents and technology

Discouraging News on the Media Lit Frontier

Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, p 11

The New York Times has reported on a Common Sense Media (CSM) sponsored study, Zero to Eight, Children’s Media Use in America (PDF). The Times article, Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children, describes the study and points out that kids are in front of a screen more than ever despite the recommendations of their doctors.

After reading this I am feeling a bit more pessimistic than usual. Adults are used to tossing health caution to the wind for themselves, but we were vigilant about protecting the health of our children. Now we seem to disregard the recommendations of pediatricians — the very people who can help us do the most possible to ensure that our kids grow into strong and productive adults. Are we as a society less and less concerned about the development of strong minds? Times reporter Tamar Lewin writes:

Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics’ longstanding recommendations to the contrary, children under 8 are spending more time than ever in front of screens…

Continue reading “Discouraging News on the Media Lit Frontier”

Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, digital parenting, parents and technology, television

Pediatricians Recommend No Screens for Kids Under Age 2

Yesterday I wrote about a newspaper article that described the updated American Academy of Pediatrics media recommendations for children under two years of age. Here’s the direct link to the updated policy statement, Media Use by Children Younger Than 2 Years from the journal Pediatrics. The entire document is easily accessible and free, about four pages of reading plus footnotes.

A Few Quotes from the Document