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On average, the American child is in the company of his parent about 17 hours per week, with the media about 35 hours per week.  Of the two, parent and media, which is more entertaining to the child, and which more critical to his social and emotional development?

When the Media is the ParentOur children are being nurtured and guided by machines — modern media delivery systems – and the media they deliver.  They have taken over the parenting functions that once were performed by human beings.

This may sound like a horror movie plot from the 1950s, but it is a twenty-first century reality. All too often, well-meaning parents have abdicated their roles as nurturers, caregivers, teachers, confidantes, guides, and role models—leaving TV, videogames, movies, smart phones, and the internet to fill in. And our children are paying the price. Continue reading →

  • Obese kids are often ridiculed online

    An article that ties together two problems related to the media. The first is obesity in childhood and adolescence, a problem on the rise in America and the West. Significant causal factors are over-eating of high caloric foods and the sedentary life of so many of our youth. Both of these factors are related to over-consumption of the media by American youth. Continue reading

  • Are kids learning bad behavior from the media?
    Are kids learning bad behavior from the media?

    An excellent and thoughtful article by Greg Trimble with some serious concerns about the troubling way the media is affecting our kids. To be sure, basic issues like the glamorizing of sex and violence come to mind quite easily. But Trimble is writing about something at once more subtle and insidious: role modeling and values. Continue reading

  • Social media as a way around advertising regulations

    An interesting article describing how junk food companies work to finesse their way around laws established in Australia to stem the consumption of junky foods by kids. The technique is simple: go directly to advertising to kids on Facebook. Apparently Australian legislators have set limits on junk food advertising to kids on TV but not via the social media. Continue reading

  • Keeping up with what your children are watching

    A thoughtful and hopeful article since it demonstrates how parents are beginning to understand the value of both limiting screen time for kids and being discerning about what kids actually consume while in front of media machines. Continue reading

  • Media has a strong influence on food choices, good or bad

    An excellent and upbeat article well worth close study. The idea is that, although the media has played a negative role in inducing kids into bad food habits, the media can also play its part in positive directions in terms of influencing kids to eat healthy. Continue reading

  • Violent media may lead to a lack of empathy
    Violent media may lead to a lack of empathy

    An interesting and hopeful article that should be read and re-read. The issue here is that parents are becoming more and more aware of how problematic violent video games can be for kids, despite there still being some controversy about how often and how seriously violence from video games and media might be directly affecting children's evolvement in actual violence. Continue reading

  • Anything for fame

    A short article on an alarming new craze among kids: They light themselves on fire, video themselves douse the flames and post the episode online. The purpose is ostensibly a few minutes of media celebrity. Continue reading