June 2, 2008

Tips For Helping Parents Manage Media

Today we welcome Guest Blogger Brandy King, librarian at the Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Children's Hospital Boston.
Though you may have considered the health effects of media use from a clinical or research standpoint, do you ever wonder how real-life parents navigate today's media world with their families? If you are a already parent yourself, you may be curious to see how other parents handle this aspect of life in their own homes.

Each month, the CMCH e-newsletter features one parent's story about media, which have covered topics such as video game addiction, using a DVR to manage media use, and even taking action on what movies are shown on airplanes. For example, this past month, Callie in Michigan wrote:

"When I get home from a long day, all I want to do is put on the TV and be entertained for a little while. It helps me relax and get my mind off the whirlwind of the past few hours. I know that my kids are no different in this respect; when they get home from school, they need a break. Though I always encourage them to pursue non-media activities, I know that this is one part of their day when they just need to relax. However, I have always been cautious of what it is they see and hear during this time, preferring that the programs are somewhat educational.
A few months ago, I decided to subscribe to a Digital Video Recording (DVR) service because I found myself constantly missing shows I enjoyed. I never expected that the DVR would become such a useful tool for my kids' viewing as well!...."

Callie goes on to talk about the many benefits of the DVR she didn't expect with tips that will surprise you. In addition to learning from other parents experiences, our site has other tip guides to pass on to your families. In this case, we have a DVR/VHS guide.

Check out the complete list of Parent Perspectives, and if you're interested, contact us about writing your own!