Too many screens may be ruining your kids

8 Ways Screens Are Ruining Your Family’s Life. The Huffington Post, September 4, 2013.

An absolutely excellent article outlining the ideas of Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair in the book The Big Disconnect, which makes the point that media screens are seriously disrupting American families in ways that are at once subtle and serious.

The attached video of Dr. Steiner-Adair is also valuable to watch. A major point stressed by her is the concept that when parents rely on the smartphone or the laptop or TV to entertain their kids, they are actually handing over parenting responsibilities to screens. Kids are not learning to develop inner resources to develop their own imaginations.

Essentially, boredom becomes a problem circumvented by media entertainment. Though she is not speaking about ideas how violent media might beget actual violence, she is speaking of more subtle and ubiquitous events that can be deleterious in little ways that can grow large over time, like a family watching a movie in a theater and the child finding the movie boring. How to remedy the problem? The parent hands the child a phone and the child plays Angry Birds. Problem solved? At least in the moment. Only the child’s own resourcefulness is circumvented from developing. A subtle but important point.