I’m concerned about my 21-year-old making wooden guns for her cosplay costume based on a violent video game character – what should I do?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My 21-year-old daughter and her 26-year-old boyfriend are making wooden replica guns and other weapon accessories for a cos-play convention based on the action video game, “Fallout 4”. I expressed my concerns about these games and how they can affect young peoples’ behavior and views on violence. My daughter’s response – of course – was… Read more »

Since moving, my teen son spends a lot of time connecting with his old friends through media instead of making new friends – what should I do?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Our family moved recently from the U.S. to Mexico for my husband’s job, and while most things have been transitioning smoothly, I am concerned that my 14-year-old son is spending too much time with screens and not enough time making friends. Since moving, he spends a lot of time Skyping or playing video games… Read more »

Is playing violent video games a healthy way to deal with tragedy?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My nephew and niece’s mother died due to a tragic accident. She was shot by her 13-year-old son. How can I tell if they are dealing with this tragedy in a healthy way? He continues to play violent video games with graphic shooting and killing people. Is this normal behavior?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Which computer games are good for my 2 year old?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I’ve introduced my 22-month-old son to a computer program designed for babies that makes shapes and plays a sound every time a button is pushed. Lately, I’ve noticed that he is becoming more thoughtful about it. He used to just bang at the keys, but now he pushes one button at a time and watches what happens on the screen. For his birthday, I’ve been looking for an age-appropriate game that involves more thought. I have found a few games that are marked for 2 years and up, but they seem mostly targeted at kids closer to age 3 than 2. Do you have any suggestions?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Is there software I can buy to limit my kids’ computer time?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I have three sons, ages 8, 5, and 5 (twins) who love to play computer games (Club Penguin, Webkinz, PBS kids.com, and others). I try to limit their screen time to one hour per day, but I know they have been using it for longer than that when they can get away with it. Is there a parent-controlled program I can buy that allows each child to login and have only a limited amount of access per day? Dr. Michael Rich answers this question and others on Ask the Mediatrician.

The Mediatrician Asks YOU a Question!

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Do your family’s media habits change as the kids head back to school? How are your habits different from those in the Summer? Do you purposely make an attempt to change things or do they just change on their own as a result of a more structured schedule?

What should I do about video games on playdates?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My son is entering 3rd grade and is an only child. When he has playdates at his friends’ homes, sometimes the moms allow video games above my son’s age level, usually because my son’s friends have older siblings. It makes me uncomfortable, but I’ve noticed that a lot of parents don’t appreciate it when I ask that they not play any video games during the playdate—it’s viewed as trying to control what happens in their home, or as some judgment upon them for allowing the younger child to play age-inappropriate games. I don’t want to tell my son he can never go to their houses, so do you have any advice? I usually try to have kids over to my house so that it’s not an issue, but at some point, the other parents want my son to come to their home.