Is there anything wrong with cutting out electronic media completely?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My parents didn’t have a TV in the house when I was growing up and I didn’t get a stereo until I was a teenager. We read and played outside and I didn’t think I was deprived as a kid. It seems like what is out there now, in terms of violence, sex, and taking risks, is far worse than when I was a kid. Is there anything wrong with just cutting out electronic media completely from my kids’ lives?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Research Wrap-Up: Recently Published Studies-September 25, 2009

Posted under Research Blog.

Here is a list of recently published studies on children, media, and health which explore a range of topics: Jennings, N.A., Hooker, S.D. & Linebarger, D.L. (2009). Educational television as mediated literacy environments for preschoolers. Learning, Media and Technology, (34)3, 229-242. This study describes the production techniques of Between the Lions that contributed to preschooler's… Read more »

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

Is there software I can buy to limit my kids’ computer time?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I have three sons, ages 8, 5, and 5 (twins) who love to play computer games (Club Penguin, Webkinz, PBS kids.com, and others). I try to limit their screen time to one hour per day, but I know they have been using it for longer than that when they can get away with it. Is there a parent-controlled program I can buy that allows each child to login and have only a limited amount of access per day? Dr. Michael Rich answers this question and others on Ask 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?

My 4 year old is obsessed with the Disney Channel, what should I do?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Recently my 4 year old daughter has found a new, almost obsessive interest in the Disney Channel shows (Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc). TV was never a problem before, but now she would rather watch these shows than do anything else. I also think that these shows may be too big-kid for her. What do you think, and how can I get her away from the TV without fuss?

Are Star Wars and Disney Princesses the only options?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I went into a party store to look for decorations for my son’s upcoming birthday party and everywhere I looked, the choices were either Star Wars or Disney princesses. Are we raising our boys to be violent and our girls to have Cinderella expectations of the world?

What are some good kids’ movies for my 5 year old to enjoy?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: They don’t seem to make enough good kids’ movies that don’t feature in-your-face dialog, terrifying characters, fast cuts, or just over-the-top crazy stuff designed mainly for adult audiences (that I have to spend half the movie explaining to my 5 year old). As a Mediatrician and film buff, can you recommend a few of your favorites, either classic or contemporary?