Is my daughter’s Halloween costume too sexy?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

A: It’s likely you’ll get “But it’s just a book, Mom. She’s just a character.” You can respond by talking with her seriously: What is it about this costume that she likes? Does she realize how people will respond to her in it…
Answered by Dr Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Are audiobooks a good use of kids’ time?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My kids love listening to stories on CD. Do you think this a good use of time compared to watching TV?
A: Audiobooks are valuable media for your children because they don’t pre-digest imagery for them. That means that as your kids listen to the stories, they’re given the exquisite experience of actively imagining the worlds they’re hearing about, rather than having the characters and scenery presented to them like in a book or TV show.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®

Are American Girl dolls a better choice for my niece than the more sexualized Barbies or Bratz?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I wondered if the Center has any research on the American Girls phenomenon. Unlike Barbies and Bratz, these dolls are not sexualized, and they also have connections to history and culture through each doll’s storybook. I am guessing that they are probably a better alternative for playtime fantasies (at least for families who can afford them — the dolls cost $95 each). But they are also linked to all kinds of merchandising, encouraging families to buy accessories like furniture, clothes, and even pets to go along with them (also pricey). What do you think about the pros and cons? My niece is 8 years old and I am thinking ahead to the holiday season.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, 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?