The Good News about Children and Media in 2010

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: It seems like all we ever hear about are the negative effects of media. What research has been done on using media in positive ways?
A: Indeed, studies in the past year indicate just how positive media can be for children and families when it is used in a controlled way, paying particular attention to its content and the context in which it is used.

Can you tell me more about the recommended 1 hour media limit?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: When we hear that children should not be exposed to more than 1 hour of screen time per day, does that mean that all media are created equal? For example, are watching a movie, watching an age-appropriate TV show, and playing an interactive children’s website game all the same? What are the concerns about and benefits of each?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, the Mediatrician

How can I convince networks not to play violent commercials during family programming?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My husband and I are greatly concerned by the commercials that are played on television, especially during “family” events like football or NASCAR races. I have contacted the FCC and NASCAR and they said that I basically have to contact each network one by one to voice my concerns. Where can I find information backing up my concerns that these types of visual images are harmful to my young children?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

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.

How much TV is too much TV?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: The television is a constant source of conflict in our house. I am always battling with my 2nd and 5th grade kids about how much TV they watch, but I’m not even sure what a good limit would be. How much TV is too much TV?