Always On? Raising Media Savvy Kids in our Digital Age

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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed in the ever-changing, ever-growing worlds of technology and media? Many parents today struggle to keep up and stay ahead of the kids. With gadgets like cell phones that can access the internet, video game consoles as powerful as yesterday’s home computer, and constant exposure to media in our communities, how can you makes sure that your child is only being exposed to appropriate content?

Media educator Dr. Rob Williams and former Burlington High School SAP Margo Austin have the following tips to share:

  • We are part of an emergent media culture. There is new, emerging and rapidly changing media all the time. It will be impossible as a parent to keep up with all of it. This is okay.
  • The goal of new media is to keep people connected to the feed all the time, to be on all the time. This can limit the best kind of creative learning and healthy brain development for kids. Make sure they have lots of time for creative play and quiet time.
  • Parents should MODEL good media behavior for our kids
  • Parents should MONITOR our kid’s “media diet.”
  • BE PRESENT when they are watching TV, on the computer, and playing video games. Ask they “Why do you like this?” Experience it with them and then:

HAVE CONVERSATIONS with our kids early and often about media. Help PROVIDE CONTEXT to what they are seeing, hearing, and experiencing.