Monday, June 8, 2009

Balanced Media Boundaries

Ideas for Setting Appropriate and Balanced Media Boundaries:

1. Monitor input. A good rule of thumb is that kids should never spend more time in the virtual world than in reality. That simply means that they should never spend more time playing video or computer games than engaging in active play. They should never spend more time watching sports than playing them (that goes for you, too, Dad!). They should never spend more time talking to their friends on facebook or email than having real conversations.
2. Get online. Parents should have access to any social networking sites they choose to let their kids participate in or explore. You should know their password at all times and let them know that you can and will check it.
3. Model Limits. Pay attention to the amount of time you spend watching TV, checking email, surfing the net or chatting on facebook. Kids learn more from watching us than hearing from us.
4. Bombard kids (with information). Education and conversation are our best weapons against pornography and internet dangers.
5. Avoid Violence. Violent video games that reward antisocial aggression, such as Grand Theft Auto or Doom, should not be permitted in your house. Playing violent video games has a substantially more toxic effect than watching equally violent television programs. Neither is healthy, but children are even more susceptible to behavioral influences when they are active participants.
6. Teach Literacy. Just because kids can use media and technology doesn’t mean they are effective at critically analyzing and evaluating the messages they receive. This is called media literacy. An important media literacy skill, which can be developed through parental guidance, is a child’s ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

1 comment:

  1. This the best advice I've seen yet re media usage. I love the easy-to-apply rule of thumb in #1 and the modeling advice in #3. Need to work on #3.... ;)