The Girl is now 4 and interested in all things video screen. If it has a screen, she wants to be there. Small battles have been erupting over screen time in our house. Not huge tantrum issues, but whenever it is time to turn off the tv, The Girl begins negotiating harder than a John Grisham lawyer.
The computer is not quite as bad. She does enjoy some of the activities at the CBC Kids site and the occasional stop at the Pingu website. But other than that her favorite activity on the computer is watching home videos and our photo slideshows. But I know the day is coming. The world of online games, social networking and questionable media role models is just around the corner.
Common Sense media has just posted a basic little media literacy list called Six Ways to Be a Media-Savvy Parent. The theme of the list is a good one. Rather than advice on how to isolate and monitor our kids, the list focuses on helping parents become educated and active participants in our kids media lives. We can’t turn it off, so we might as well educate ourselves and try to be involved.
At the very least, you might be able to leverage some of the tips into a convincing argument that your family really needs a personal digital recorder and a new Wii. Really, it’s for the kids.