Why do different kids respond differently to media violence?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My boys, now 15 & 17, are so different. I’ve noticed that my two kids can watch the same violent programs and, depending on each child’s nature, they respond differently. Is it true that after viewing violent programs, some children will behave more aggressively while some children become more fearful? If yes, can you explain how that happens? Any chance that some children are not affected at all?
Answer from 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?

My 4 year old is obsessed with the Disney Channel, what should I do?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Recently my 4 year old daughter has found a new, almost obsessive interest in the Disney Channel shows (Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc). TV was never a problem before, but now she would rather watch these shows than do anything else. I also think that these shows may be too big-kid for her. What do you think, and how can I get her away from the TV without fuss?

Are Star Wars and Disney Princesses the only options?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I went into a party store to look for decorations for my son’s upcoming birthday party and everywhere I looked, the choices were either Star Wars or Disney princesses. Are we raising our boys to be violent and our girls to have Cinderella expectations of the world?

What are some good kids’ movies for my 5 year old to enjoy?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: They don’t seem to make enough good kids’ movies that don’t feature in-your-face dialog, terrifying characters, fast cuts, or just over-the-top crazy stuff designed mainly for adult audiences (that I have to spend half the movie explaining to my 5 year old). As a Mediatrician and film buff, can you recommend a few of your favorites, either classic or contemporary?

Will video games cause seizures in my children?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: The manual for my teenage son’s favorite video game contains a warning that says that some games cause seizures and that parents should watch for seizure symptoms or ask their children if they’ve experienced any symptoms while playing. I can’t monitor every minute of game play, and if I asked my son about it, I’m not sure he would admit any symptoms to anything he thought might lead me to limit his game time. How worried should I be?