Video Games: How much time is too much?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Is 15-20 hours per week too much time spent on video games–even if my son gets all A’s, and is involved with lots of other activities? Is gaming a good use of his downtime?
A: There is no magic number of appropriate gaming hours: The key is to ensure that gaming doesn’t get in the way of the other important activities of life—like homework, family meals, and sleep.

Do cell phones affect kids’ sleep?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My middle-schooler seems like a zombie during the day since we agreed to let her have a cell phone. What’s going on here?
A: Like most tweens and teens, your daughter probably uses her phone primarly as a platform for texting–thus, she may sleep with it on a nightstand or even under her pillow, just in case she receives…

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

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?