Home Page

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 →

  • More on the Slenderman stabbing

    More on the Slenderman murders. A thoughtful article about the power of fearful stories as old as the Sandman to scare kids and hold them in fear. Yet like so many of the problems facing kids in their encounters with the media, the ubiquity of the media itself is a major part of the problem, rendering my concerns far greater than what they would be if a bunch of kids were simply sitting around a campfire spinning scary yarns. Continue reading

  • Fictional characters can feed childhood anxiety

    One of numerous articles that appeared in the popular press following the stabbing by two girls of a third in Wisconsin, related to the fictional character Slenderman. This article relates a bit of history about how the character was invented and popularized on the website creepypasta. It seems the two girls who committed the stabbing of a friend may have actually believed that Slenderman was real and that they were going to be able to live with him, once they killed the third girl, who was a friend or acquaintance of theirs. 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