September 2014

M O N T H L Y  T I P
To Manage School vs. Recreational Media, Ring a Bell

For many children (of all ages), September brings a new school year, and for some, that includes trying new technologies and devices. While these technologies can open the door to innovative and exciting learning opportunities, they can also present a challenge when it comes to balancing media use at home. To ensure that your children are able to manage their school media use (writing papers on a home desktop, researching on a tablet, etc.) and their recreational media use (chatting with friends online, watching videos for fun, etc.), set guidelines early and stick to them throughout the school year. Designate specific times for homework; for younger kids, ringing a bell can help signal a transition between homework and non-homework time, while for older kids, having a shared phone calendar with a playful alert (perhaps involving emoticons) can serve as a helpful reminder. Be present with your children during homework times so that you can help them focus their attention or answer questions as needed. Once a school task is complete, move on to other activities, such as playing outdoors or spending time with friends. If time allows, they can always return to media for recreation. Read more back-to-school tips.

P A R E N T  Q U E S T I O N S
My six-year-old’s class is opening a Facebook account – what should I do?

A: Using social media in the classroom can have many benefits, like helping reinforce students’ sense of community and keeping parents up to date on school activities. But that’s probably all it will do for young children. Kids will learn responsible use when they are actually driving that use, and 6 year olds aren’t developmentally ready for that responsibility. Read the answer here.

M E D I A  M O M E N T S  

Making Moussaka with Media

This month, Kristelle Lavallee, CMCH’s Content Strategist, shares a story about children integrating media into their daily life activities, including cooking! Take a look at the full post and follow along every month at

R E S E A R C H   

Screen time and alternate activities

In a recent study from Clinical Pediatrics, researchers found that almost 50% of the children studied exceeded the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended amount of screen time, and children with a balance between screen time and other activities used screens less. Read more.

P R E S S  

New CMCH article! 

CMCH’s Dr. David Bickham and Yulin Hswen, along with John Naslund, co-authored the article “Differences in media access and use between rural Native American and White children,” which explores the cross-cultural differences between media use in rural Michigan. Read more.