Q: I’m 14 and have had this bad habit for a while now, almost a year; I masturbate on webcam for total strangers. My mom’s caught me before, but that didn’t stop me. But now it’s taken control of my life. Like last week, on the last day of school, I masturbated in the boys’… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Ask the Mediatrician
Tagged: Internet & Computers
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 »
Q: My 12-year-old son wanted a PS3, partly as a birthday gift and partly out of money he’s saved. This was to replace his PS2 because some of the games he wanted were not available for PS2. His PS2 is in his room on a non-cable hooked up TV so that all of his approved,… Read more »
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
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.
Q: I heard a report on the news that too much time in front of TV or computer screens can raise kids’ blood pressure. Is that just for more action-oriented shows and games? And is even a little screen time a problem for kids’ hearts?
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?
Q: We feel “webbed out” of our teenage son’s electronic social life. Are you aware of studies tracking the psychological impact that technologies like Facebook and Twitter have on developing “normal” social skills?
Q: My children like to watch TV before bed, and they often fall asleep while it’s still on. I have a feeling that that’s not good for them, but I’m not sure why. Can you offer any guidance?