Writings By Gloria DeGaetano
the News That's Fit for Kids Helping children become "news-smart".
News and news-related programs make up a bigger part of the TV landscape
than ever before. For parents, this is literally a good news-bad news
situation. On one hand, cable television offers an enormous diversity
of current-events programs to helps us all be informed, responsible
citizens. On the other hand, it is more important than ever to know
what kind of news programming is appropriate for your children.
Make Cookies, Not War: TV-related toys and the "I want that" syndrome.
Parents can help kids spot merchandising "tricks," steer children to
toys based on educational or pro-social TV shows, and direct creative
play away from Madison Avenue imitation. Here are a few simple strategies
to help guide little ones from mindless consumerism to mindful ways
to think for themselves.
Violence: Confronting the Issues and Taking Action. If we know
that there is an indelible link between media violence and becoming
more violent, then we, as responsible adults, must confront this sad
issue and take action. Action in whatever way seems most appropriate.
But ACTION, nevertheless.
TV: Simple techniques parents can use to make TV time with kids almost
as beneficial as story time. The benefits of reading to children
are well established, but did you know that with a little guidance,
children can get similar benefits from watching television? That may
seem like a lot to ask from TV viewing, but when children are stimulated
to think, as opposed to watching passively, their minds are very busy.
Media and Young Children's Attention Spans. In countless homes
and classrooms we see children: with more impulsive behaviors, less
willing and able to persevere through challenging mental tasks, hyperactive,
reactive, with little or no impulse control. Research confirms that
children who watch TV or play video games for more than two hours daily
will most likely exhibit one or more of these characteristics.