media usage

STEP 1: QUESTION, OBSERVE, AND ASSESS

Do you find yourself getting caught up in constant battles over screens? Is it hard to get your kids off those tablets or video games when you ask them to? Do you find your kids are obsessed with their electronics? Botch their homework to get back to that Minecraft as soon as possible?

Have you caught them lying or sneaking around to get access to their screens? Do your kids wake up tired and exhausted from being up until 2 am chatting with their friends on text or any social media? Are you starting to notice them withdrawing from family life and responsibilities?

Do you find your child can’t stop when you ask him or her to, and they always want “just a bit more”? Do they lose it on you when you tell them that it’s enough? Have you noticed a drastic drop in motivation to do anything,  yet they’re highly focussed, even obsessed, with getting back to their phones or tablets?

D0 they complain about being bored all the time if they are not on their screens? Has their phone become another body part that you need to pry out of their hands with a crowbar? Have you thought to yourself  “geez he’s reacting just like a drug addict”? 

Does your young child have nightmares, and scared of sleeping alone? Does he or she have frequent emotional meltdowns that seem out of control and excessive, stemming out of nowhere? Is your child rude and disrespectful despite your best efforts to teaching proper manners? And you wonder where they learn all this? Is your child exhibiting inappropriate sexual behaviours or language?

Do these scenarios seem way too familiar? If so, read on. WARNING: This article is NOT about banning screens from our lives. It’s about using them wisely and responsibly to enhance our children’s lives rather than hindering them.

The best way to prepare and protect our children from the “hazards” of screens is to first understand the harm that can be done, the good that can come of media use, and how to discern the good from the bad. Once we have all the information, it is then easier to make informed choices, which are best suited for our families.

STEP 2: EDUCATE, INFORM, AND MAKE CONNECTIONS

I’ve researched quite a few websites and compiled a few resources and thought I’d share them with you. They can also be found in the Resource section of this site, where you can also discover other valuable links.

 

STEP 3: REMEDIATE AND FIND SOLUTIONS

 

  • This site offers links and resources for information from the AAP and other organizations that specialize in keeping children and adolescents safer online. Safety Net (American Academy of Pediatrics) Resources for parents on Internet Use and Safety for Families)

 

 

 

 

  • This guide is designed to “help teachers and parents make informed decisions about whether, why, how, and when to use screen technologies with young children. It provides an overview of the research on screen time and young children. And it offers guidance for those who want their programs to be screen-free, as well as for those who choose to incorporate technology in their settings”: Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology, and Early Education

     

     

    Here is a Free App Curbi  a screen time management solution for parents to monitor screen use. All you need to do is you sign-up for Curbi and enroll whichever devices you’d like to manage. It allows you to set time limits for specific apps (e.g., YouTube, Minecraft) or an entire device, it can even instantly  “time out”  a gadget. This can all be done from your own iPhone, Android, tablets, iPad, or any computer. Click on this link to learn more about all its features.

    Now that you have a lot of information at your fingertips, you can make informed choices that are best suited for your kids developmental level, and choices that are in line with your family values.

    When we know better, we do better. Make the right choices. Media can be a real blessing when used wisely, but media can also cause severe damage. As with anything good, moderation is the best approach, based on educated choices for all members of your family, including yourself.

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