Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, digital parenting, marketing to kids, media literacy, parents and technology

Kids’ Television Shows as Advertising

Today the medium is a lot less about a message and more about the toys!

Just about everyone — parents, teachers, grandparents, youth leaders — should read the New York Times article, Hasbro, Intent on Expanding Its Toy Brands, Is Playing All the Angles.

The days of interesting television shows with good story plots are fast disappearing because many of today’s shows are a composite of toys and programming about those toys.

Concerned parents and other adults may want to consider additional limits on  television and carefully evaluate whether the end result of a toy or game purchase is simply more television watching.

Continue reading “Kids’ Television Shows as Advertising”

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.

Continue reading “The Television Broke Down and Six Years Later We Replaced It”

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 answers to media questions, digital parenting, media literacy, parents and technology, television

How Much TV? Again

Visit this site for list of questions that parents can use to help children evaluate television advertisements.

Right now, around Superbowl weekend, lots of people write and debate about how much television is okay for young children to watch, and many parents wring their hands about manipulative advertising. This brings back memories.

I don’t talk about this often, but 29 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.

Continue reading “How Much TV? Again”

Posted in parents and technology, technology and health problems, technology in bedrooms

TV in Your Child’s Bedroom? Research to Consider

Are you tempted to allow a television in your child’s bedroom?

Recently the journal Preventive Medicine published research that explores the potential impacts of placing a television in a child’s bedroom. By evaluating existing health survey data researchers sought to discover whether certain behavioral and social characteristics were especially associated  with the presence of a television in a child’s bedroom (bedroom television or BTV). The article, TV’s in the Bedrooms of Children: Does it Impact Health and Behavior? (abstract), is not freely available on the web, but it can be purchased or read at a medical library.

To understand more about how BTV use might affect a child’s behavior the researchers used data from the 2007 U.S. National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), which gathered information through interviews of 46,687 family with children ages 6-17. As a part of the NSCH, parents were asked to estimate the amount of time their child spends watching television on an average weekday.  Continue reading “TV in Your Child’s Bedroom? Research to Consider”