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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 →

  • Kids’ brains are being changed by media immersion

    A thought-provoking article, which is an excerpt of a book by Michael Harris, entitled The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection. The article leaves the reader sobered, thoughtful. Relying much on recent brain research, the article argues that the human brain of the child is literally being changed by its daily immersion in the Internet and media. Continue reading

  • Are kids today more self-centered than ever?

    A thought-provoking article that lays out some provocative ideas but leaves matters unresolved. The gist of the article is the movement of kids from generation to generation toward more self-centeredness. Or as one of my earlier articles puts it: "Self-Centered: the New Normal." Continue reading

  • A possibly skewed look at the pros and cons of digital ware for toddlers

    A short and somewhat strange article ostensibly about the pros and cons of raising toddlers with an abundance of digital machines at their finger tips. Continue reading

  • Education is the best protection

    A sobering article written by an educator in South Africa, a country like so many others permeated with easy access to the internet. The concerns she raises are multifold. Kids are gaining access to all kinds of images and material that is shocking, confusing and distressing them. Continue reading

  • Media presents impossible standards of beauty
    Media presents impossible standards of beauty

    A valuable article that relies on a number of worthwhile sources to makes its major point: Girls growing up with the media as their "super peer" find themselves facing dilemmas in terms of body image. The result is an unrealistic set of self-expectations and often a sense of their own inferiority. Continue reading

  • Makers of e-cigarettes getting around the law
    Makers of e-cigarettes getting around the law

    A troubling if thought-provoking article about how companies making e-cigarettes seem to be working to get around federal legislation banning advertising of cigarettes to minors. At issue here is the making and marketing of candy-flavored cigarettes, a relatively new product that, according to many concerned parties, can play a crucial role in hooking kids on nicotine from a very early age. Continue reading

  • Alcohol is too often shown in a humorous light
    Alcohol is too often shown in a humorous light

    A terse and simple article that makes the point well about how much of a negative effect mainstream media immersion has on kids in terms of alcohol consumption. Citing many troubling statistics including the massive amount of money spent annually by alcohol-selling companies on advertising, the fact that about 50% of the presentations of alcohol consumption in mainstream media show it in a humorous light, and only about 23% show a downside, the article makes some very well-known points about the causative connection of media imagery to kids being influenced to drink. Continue reading