Media can provide a positive influence, if there is a profit in it

An interesting study that follows the same theme described in my last article and set of tweets: The media can be used for good, if the message itself is positive. Previously I wrote about the FDA using a marketing barrage to make the point that perhaps kids can be influence via commercials to turn away from smoking cigarettes. This article suggests a similar tactic in the national battle against childhood obesity. Continue reading

FDA tries fighting fire with fire

A longish article of an interview of and FDA official about a new campaign being launched by the FDA to dissuade kids from smoking. Like many behaviors glamorized or encouraged by the media, such drinking alcohol, taking drugs, having sex indiscriminately, or overeating, cigarette smoking remains a serious problem for America’s youth. Despite massive government efforts via fining the tobacco industry, banning TV ads of cigarette products, etc, the problem is not going away. Continue reading

TV for kids: is it all bad?

A terse article that tries to balance the pros and cons of TV watching for kids. It begins with a clear statement that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against kids watching TV before the age of 2 and that parents tend to use the TV as a babysitter much too often. Continue reading

Kids learn a lot from the media, not all of it good

A brief article along with a clever but telling video from Common Sense Media meant to dramatize a serious concern about how kids absorb words and expressions not just from parents and older siblings and peers, in a manner that is quite common, but also from the media. This fits nicely into my idea about how the media has become the parent. Continue reading

Media devices may be eliminating human empathy

A preposterous article on one level, yet sadly all too true. About how kids are spending so much time on smartphones and other electronic devices and so are not developing basic social skills. Continue reading

Infants need to be active, not staring at screens

iPad Bouncy Seat

A piece at once comical and rather sad. It’s about a product developed by Fisher Price, which allows parents essentially to strap their infants and toddlers in front of a screen and ignore them. Continue reading

Excessive screen time linked to anxiety and depression

An arresting article about how a study published by Public Health England concludes that excessive screen time is linked to anxiety and depression and limits children’s opportunities for social interaction and physical activity. Continue reading

Social media amplifies peer pressure

An alarming article in the popular press that describes a scholarly article just being published in regard to the effects of Facebook and other social media sites on adolescents’s drinking and smoking use. Continue reading

Three rules for toddlers and the TV

An interesting article presented in a question and answer format. A parent is distressed about the temper tantrums of the 3 and 1/2 year old when the TV is turned off and asks what can be done. The problem is that the child is told that it’s time to have the set turned off but goes ballistic when deprived of the tube. A common problem in the US and around the world. Continue reading

Clear link between screen time and obesity

Encouraging article about the NICE, which is the British counterpart of the NIMH, voicing deep concern about the fact that more and more children in Britain are overweight or obese (about 30%) and that the major factor in this epidemic is children’s sitting in front of screens, be they TVs or computers, too many hours a day. Continue reading