Have you counted the number of screens in your house lately? TV screens, computer screens, cell phone screens, smartphone screens, IPod screens, tablet screens and so forth consume our environment these days. We walk around with our eyes focused on the small rectangles giving us information 24/7.
So, if they are everywhere, they must be okay for kids to watch, right? Well, yes and no. Here are a few facts to consider:
We know that all screens aren’t bad. Children watch educational programming are learning, and adults need screens to keep us informed about the latest news. But here’s the trouble:
Ø Many violent acts [on screen] are perpetrated by the "good guys," whom kids have been taught to admire. Even though kids are taught by their parents that it's not right to hit, television says it's OK to bite, hit, or kick if you're the good guy. This can lead to confusion when kids try to understand the difference between right and wrong. And the "bad guys" on TV aren't always held responsible or punished for their actions.
Ø Educational programming may not be harmful, but it isn’t likely to make your child that much smarter. In fact, in 2009, the Walt Disney Company began offering refunds for Baby Einstein products based on evidence that the products weren't educational.
Here’s what to do:
Here’s more of what to do – replace screen time with books!
I’m excited to be a part of the Children’s Museum because we recently were named the operating organization of the regional Children’s Book Bank. The Children’s Book Bank exists to provide free books to children in Central Virginia who can’t afford or do not have access to books of their own. If you are interested in learning more about the Children’s Book Bank, you can link to more information on the Children’s Museum website.
Remember: Family, home and community are the true drivers of a child’s education.
Media Tips for Babies and Toddlers, http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/media-tips-babies-and-toddlers
How TV Affects Your Child, http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/tv_affects_child.html#
Children’s Museum of Richmond Book Bank http://www.c-mor.org/book-bank