How can I stop my kids from being ‘catfished’?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q:The Manti Te’o “catfish” story makes me wonder how I can best prepare my teens for future online friendships. My teens say that kids meet through friends-of-friends online and off, but online they just lie about personal information. I’ve always thought that practicing strong communication skills, honesty, integrity, and trust would help my kids grow… Read more »

Am I limiting my child’s chances of success in today’s economy by trying to limit his screen time?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My 11-year-old son spends every free minute in front of his computer—doing homework (he really does, thank goodness), social networking, playing games, and now creating his own games. Concerned that, one by one, he has dropped sports, playing with friends, getting outdoors, and, frankly, spending time with the family, I have struggled (and been… Read more »

Do pop-up ads affect young children?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

My almost 3-year-old son loves to watch Caillou on Sprout, a TV channel that carries programming for infants and young children. Throughout Caillou, there are many pop-ups that soundlessly advertise Sprout or the next show that will air. These pop-ups distract me as an adult. Have there have been any studies on how they affect young… Read more »

Is having music on in the background harmful to toddlers?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I recently read that exposure to background media (TVs, computers, etc.) can affect a child’s development. Is this true for music as well? I play classical music, light rock, and NPR in the background throughout the day with our toddler. I thought it would be good for her. Is it potentially not so good?  -Background… Read more »