Posted in digital parenting, television

TV Habits and the Winter Months

Read Mommy, Why Can’t I Watch More TV, over at Boston.com. Author Beth Teitell describes the how many of us let our children watch increased amounts of television and play more video games like Wii during vacations, winter months, and especially after big snowstorms when school is closed.

According to the March 1. 2011 article, which also quotes Children’s Hospital Boston Mediatrician, Michael Rich, MD, it’s not always easy to retrench after periods of excess media activities.

Posted in acceptable use, cell phones, digital citizenship, digital parenting, parents and technology, setting technology limits

Taming the Technology Gadget Obsession at Home

Today with everyone connected all of the time, families need to think about scheduling disconnect time at home. Recently I read that, before cabinet meetings at the White House, the president requires attendees to leave phones and Blackberries in a basket by the door. Without interruptions from communication devices, people can concentrate on the conversation and on the important issues. Most importantly, cabinet members are able to listen to each other without distractions.

Can your dining room be gadget-free during meals?

Families, too, need uninterrupted communication time. Parents may want to develop home guidelines that mirror cabinet meeting expectations. The Pew Internet and American Life Project offers wide-ranging information setting sensible mobile phone and texting limits.

Family meals are the perfect time to disconnect phones and Blackberries. Increasingly, pediatricians and other family researchers believe that regular, all-family mealtimes provide children with a range of advantages. To improve communication and interaction, each person can turn off the ringer and deposit his or her phone in a location away from the table, preferably in another room. Dinner table conversation can proceed uninterrupted so family members will listen more carefully to one another. Make the dining room a gadget-free zone during meal times.

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Posted in digital citizenship, parents and technology, resources to read, Uncategorized

Parents, Please Don’t Belittle Yourself

Recently, while on vacation, I found myself talking to parents of middle school children at the local swimming area. As often happens, we spoke about children, jobs, and the wonders of vacation. When they inquired about what I do, I mentioned that I concentrate on educational technology and teach in a K-12 school.

Almost as soon as the people heard about my work, they began talking about technology and media — their lack of skill and understanding, their children’s immense comfort and skill, and how their kids can solve almost every computer problem in the house. A few minutes later I listened to their concerns about social networking, YouTube, Facebook, and how much time their children spend on the computer at home and on their smart phones just about anywhere.

I asked who sets up the computer in the house?  One of the children, most answered. I asked who does the system upgrading?  The children. I asked whether either parent had a Facebook or Twitter account?  No, some of them said. Not enough time –too busy.

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