by Thomson Dialog NewsEdge | TMC Net | June 18, 2006

“TV. Radio. Internet. They bombard our children with the latest news and gossip on their favorite celebrities. Experts question whether that’s healthy.

Kids are estimated to get more than six hours of media exposure every day, according to
Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH. Where ‘The Partridge Family’ was on once a week, ‘That’s So Raven routinely airs up to seven times per day.”

Some tips for parents on media use:

  1. Reduce Media Exposure: Let your child help choose which shows to watch within a viewing “budget.” In this way, kids learn to make active, informed media choices instead of just “seeing whatever is on.”
  2. Co-Viewing: Watch what your kids are watching, visit the Web sites they’re visiting. This allows for conversation about controversial topics and provides a chance for adults to help children understand and synthesize what they have seen in the context of a parent’s perspective.
  3. Remove media from kids’ bedrooms: Research has shown that children who have television, video games or computers in their rooms get less sleep, read less and are more overweight.
  4. Recognize that your media use influences your children: Kids learn media use patterns from their parents, so use what you want them to use.
  5. Instill critical viewing skills: Help your kids learn to question the media they use – who created it and what are they trying to sell or get across?
  6. Encourage media production: Encourage your kids to use their imagination to invent plays, make collages from advertising or magazine images, take photographs or make videos to create the kinds of messages they would broadcast if they were in charge of the media.

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