Do you find yourself as a parent, struggling with the amount or kind of media your child uses? Furthermore, do you struggle with your own media habits either on your own or in front of your child or children? This post from the Parenting For A Digital Future blog from the London School of Economics includes an interview about a new book that might help. In the book, Dr. Eric Rasmussen suggests parents shift from a fear and protection model to more of an empowerment model. He argues that “media parenting is qualitatively different than the media parenting of their own parents. Today’s media environment, with its proliferation of and easy access to information, is such that parents don’t have the luxury of being able to shield their kids from exposure to negative content. Similarly, parents today have never had so many resources available to them to help supplement their kids’ learning and growth”.
He also suggests that kids will do by and large what is modeled for them at home. So, this means parents have to take a good, honest look at their own media habits, and if they are worried about their kids’ media habits, they will likely have to change their own. He states in this interview, ” …one of the biggest, if not the biggest, predictor of children’s media use is parents’ media use (he points readers for example, to this this article)”.
So as we head into a holiday season with kids home from school, and parents worry about media overuse, they might think about introducing new or non-media ways to spend time as a family and putting their own phones down for a while.