Learning how to balance the time spent with media with all of life’s other activities is an essential life skill.The ubiquity of digital devices, especially those that are mobile, make it easy and tempting to stay connected 24/7. However it is important to know how and when to disconnect.
In the book, Program or Be Programmed , author Douglas Rushkoff offers “ten commandments” for mastering technology in our lives, rather than letting ourselves be mastered by it. “Choose the former and you gain access to the control panel of civilization,” he writes. “Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”
Balance is an especially important skill to teach our children, because kids today spend more time engaged with media than they do in any activity other than sleeping . And who can blame them? The online world is loaded with interesting and entertaining activities designed to capture and hold our attention.
Research shows that young people look to adult role models to learn how to conduct their online lives , so it’s important for us to be mindful of our own time with digital media. Achieving a healthy balance between online and offline activities is a lifelong skill that we can all learn and practice together.
1. Rushkoff, D. (2010). Program or be programmed: Ten commandments for the the digital age. NY, NY; OR Books.
2. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement, 2010.
3. Lenhart, A., et al., (2011). Teens, kindness and cruelty on social networks. Pew Internet & American Life Project, (2011).
Tips For Raising Balanced Kids:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:
Avoid all TV- and video-viewing for children younger than 2 years. Increasing amounts of research have shown that infants and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other regular caregivers for healthy brain growth.
Parents of young children and preteens should avoid exposing them to PG-13 and R-rated movies.
Be good media role models; children often develop their media habits on the basis of their parents' media behavior.
Emphasize alternative activities.
Create an electronic media-free environment in children's bedrooms.
Help Yourself to Our Free Downloads:
You Might Also Like:
On The Huffington Post: How Much Screentime is Too Much? Why That's The Wrong Question.