Hot on HuffPost Parents:
Tips for a Healthy Media Diet
Help kids question and analyze media messages and share your own values. Let them know how you feel about solving problems with violence, stereotyping people, selling products using sex or cartoon characters or advertising to kids in schools or movie theaters.
Help kids connect what they learn in the media to events and other activities in which they're involved, such as playing sports and creating art, in order to broaden their understanding of the world.
- Forty-three percent of children younger than 2 watch TV every day, according to a 2007 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Kids 8 to 18 spend more than an hour a day on the computer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Kids who watch more TV than their peers during middle and high school years have less healthy diets five years later, according to a 2009 study by the University of Minnesota.
- Girls with a heavy sexual media diet engage in sexual activity younger than their peers, according to a 2007 poll by Harris Interactive.
- Children who watch between two and four hours of TV a day are two-and-a-half times more likely to have high blood pressure, according to a 2007 study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
When kids are around, set an example by using media the way you want them to use it. Don't bring cell phones and BlackBerries to the dinner table, turn the TV off when it's not actively being watched. Use a VCR or TiVo to record shows that may be inappropriate for your kids to watch -- even the news -- and watch them at a later time when kids are not around.
Keep an eye on the clock
Media is fun and our kids love it, but kids can have too much of a good thing. Keep an eye on how long kids spend online, in front of the TV, watching movies or playing video games. The secret to healthy media use is to establish time limits and stick to them -- before your kids turn on and tune in.
Want to get the latest ParentDish news and advice? Sign up for our newsletter!
Get more information for parents on media and technology by checking out Common Sense Media.
Ask Us Anything About Parenting
- patent or not civil case the inventor will never lose because the people approved and he makes the rules. it did not exist
- Does Liz Carmouche got a plump coochie?
- My daughter (14 yrs) was just kicked out of her Girl Scout Cadettes troop. Her offense? Having ADD (not hyperactive) and she wasn't picking up on a tr...
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.