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.

The Top Mediatrician Q&As of 2010

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Each week this year, you asked our Mediatrician, Dr. Michael Rich, your most pressing questions about the effects of media on kids, and he answered! Here are the top 10 most-viewed Ask the Mediatrician Q&As of 2010.

How can I tactfully ask our family not to give my kids character toys?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I don’t want to seem ungrateful, and I know my children would probably like the Dora or Batman version of toys, but I just find that sort of commercialism unnecessary. How can I tell my family that we’d prefer they not get the character versions of toys when giving my kids gifts?
A: Let your family know how important it is to you that your child make up her own stories during plattime instead of having her playtime scripted by pre-digested plotlines.

Do you have any tips on good gifts for kids?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Help! I’m shopping for kids of all ages this year for the holidays, and don’t know where to begin. What are your thoughts about the kinds of toys that are good for kids?
A: This year, focus on the CHILD–opt for Creative gifts you’ve decided upon after doing your Homework on the recipients’ interests, keeping in mind the importance of Imagination, Learning, and making Donations.

Research Wrap-Up: Recently Published Studies-November 23

Posted under Research Blog.

New published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: DeLoache, J.S. et al. (2010). Do babies learn from baby media? Psychol Sci. 21(11), 1570-1574. This study found that children who viewed the DVD did not learn any more words from their month long exposure to it than did a control… Read more »

Do kids in daycare watch more TV than kids who stay home?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

What you heard about kids in daycare watching more TV than others is true when it’s a home-based childcare situation, but not when the children are at a childcare center. It’s not surprising that of these three groups, it’s the one supervised by people with the most training in child development that sets the strictest limits on screen exposure.

Why should my family participate in Turnoff Week?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Why should my family participate in Turnoff Week?
A: TV, video games, and computers have become so common that, for many families, they are a default activity, rather than a choice they make about how they want to spend their time. It is not just cramming facts into children’s brains, but giving them the unstructured “down time” to process those facts and come to their own conclusions, that will give them the richest environment in which to develop.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician®

Research Toolbox: Recently Published Books

Posted under Research Blog.

Recently published titles of interest on the topics of children, media, and health: New Books Children and Youth in the Digital Media Culture by Ulla Carlsson (ed.) This Yearbook showcases the Nordic countries and the work being done in the research communities of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The focus rests on children, youth… Read more »