Parenting Technique 48 – Treat the media available to your child with the utmost of caution.
The overuse today of these kinds of media is relatively new to our culture. When TV and movies started, they were treats. Children were allowed to watch one or two shows a day, and they went to movies infrequently. These were avenues of entertainment meant to provide a rich supplement to daily life. Today, however, the picture is different. With the prevalence of i-pods, i-pads, i-phones, computers, TV, the movies, and more, there is much too much opportunity to overdo these activities.
While spending time with media is beneficial, it is also detrimental when relied on too often. Language was meant to be interactive. It was also designed to be learned in a social fashion. TV, movies, videos, and DVDs present high quality language, beautiful images and intriguing concepts; but because they are media, they do not allow the responder to communicate with them. If time being spent with media predominates over time spent creatively and in the presence of others, expressive communication and social development could be affected.
Experts are finally having their voices heard about the dangers of violent video games. However, in addition, they warn about the dangers of all media in general. These outwardly stimulating devices are realistically passive. Time spent with them takes time away from rich experiences in the presence of others and having hands-on interactive fun. We as people are all a product of our experiences. Do whatever you can to make those for your child as rich and meaningful as possible!
NOTE: Dr. Sally is offering help related to the latest school tragedy in Newtown. Please feel free to read her advice on-line at earlychildhoodnews.net or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (the note will be forwarded to Sally). There is a certain parallel today with media and food. We are overdoing both, and the consequences are big!