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Your Grandparents Knew it — Why Don’t You?

The report has made headlines this week.  No – not the damage assessment from Haiti.  Not the latest unemployment numbers or the polling numbers from the Massachusetts special election.  No, in the midst of all that, come these findings that are shocking parents across the country (and if they are not, they should!!)

U.S. Kids Using Media Almost 8 Hours a Day

Yep – do the math:  nearly 8 hours a day times 7 days per week equals more time than most adults spend in a full-time job!  Seriously.

As the report’s co-author Victoria Rideout, vp and director of the Program for the Study of Media and Health at the Kaiser Family Foundation says:

Anything that children spend that much time doing is something that needs to be studied.  Media use is neither inherently good or bad, but from a health perspective there are a lot of things to think about.”

The first thing to think about is WHERE ARE …

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Peer Pressure Strikes Again

Do your kids get to see the latest movies – the ones that all their peers are seeing – or do you have limits or restrictions that you place on them?

Sheri from Unexpected Bliss was talking about Family Movie Night at her house.  This was something I did each week with my kids over the summer and it was one of the many highlights we shared together.  But then, the movies I showed probably were not the movies being shown in other kids’ houses – and I can’t help but wonder about this.  Am I turning my kids into social outcasts – or really is it just a sad state of affairs that young kids today are growing up seeing violence and mature content and not blinking an eye?

When the latest installment of the Indiana Jones series came out last spring, most all the little boys my son’s age trotted off to the theaters to see it.  6 …

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do

“5 more minutes and then you are done, Buddy,” I shout to my son, who is busy creating a giant rollercoaster for his latest amusement park on Rollercoaster Tycoon. The words barely get out of my mouth as I run up the stairs to check MY email and peruse the headlines on my Yahoo page.  5 minutes turns into 10…and 20 minutes later we are BOTH still on the computer.  Screen time is the silent enemy in my eyes, trying to monopolize my son’s time.  Yet I have been so busy worrying about him being trapped in this sneaky addiction, I hardly noticed I am caught up in it too!  Maybe we are ALL in need of an intervention!

For me, the computer is both friend and foe.  I love email – it provides a great way for me to stay in touch with friends and family scattered all across the country.  I actually enjoy getting newsletters from some …

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Limits on Screen Time for Kids

Do your kids have limits on their screen time?  If so, why – and how did those limits come about??

Only the few – perhaps the crazy – would dare to argue that screen time is beneficial to kids.  The whole hand-eye coordination thing doesn’t hold water – because if that is really your concern, get outside with a ball and bat or practice bouncing a balloon in the air, counting how many times you can bop it without it touching the ground.  (The latter is a cheap, easy way to have fun indoors or out, and works for all ages, even the little ones – and yes, it really helps with eye tracking). 

The other possible argument for the whole screen time craze is fitting in with the other kids at school.  If everyone is playing the new Wii Mario Super Sluggers, do you become an outsider if you haven’t and have no idea what everyone is talking about?  …

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