[kids-lib] In the news: Media literacy article

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Fri Mar 16 15:29:44 PDT 2012

Hi! Earlier this week I read the article Your Wired Kid<http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/parenting-tips/children-overuse-electronics-technology> by Annie Murphy Paul in Good Housekeeping online. Much of the article pulls from Lisa Guernsey<http://www.lisaguernsey.com/publicHome.htm>, one of my favorite resources for media literacy information and research and author of Into the Minds of Babes. This article specifically discusses media use and children over 2 years old, particularly school age kids and teens, and takes the realistic approach that kids today consume media almost constantly and asks how can we set expectations around media use that off-set the negative effects and increase the positive social and educational effects.

Here are the key things I took away:

Growing research shows that screen time can make a kid fat, interfere with sleep, increase risky behaviors (drinking, smoking, drug use, and unprotected sex), weaken parental bonds, and correspond to mood problems. (my summary of negative research in the article)

Growing research shows that video game players have sharper vision, faster reaction times, are less easily distracted, are better at multi-tasking, and may be associate with increased creativity such as generating stories. Screen time can also foster connections, closeness with peers, greater empathy, and provide a venue teens are more willing to share their feelings and practice emotional life.
 (my summary of positive research in the article)

Tips for parents:

  1.  Don’t get caught up in the idea of limiting screen time to a certain number of hours, instead establish tech-free zones or times of day (such as during meal times) and collect all electronic devices an hour before bedtime, returning them all in the morning.
  2.  Consider your child’s behavior both online and offline—is your child meeting obligations at school and home and do they have positive friendships both online and face-to-face.
  3.  Give your kids guidance on digital life just as you would any other fraught activity.

Link to the article: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/parenting-tips/recommended-screen-time-for-children
Link to Lisa Guernsey’s website: http://www.lisaguernsey.com/publicHome.htm

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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