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Parents' Role as Media Filters
This article is partsp;4 of 4 in a series on Kids & TV
When it comes to children and TV, computers, video games, music and other media, parents are once again their kids' best guides. Here are some tips you can use to help children better understand the media images and content they're exposed to every day. This information was provided by Peter Gorski, M.D., M.P.A., a nationally known pediatrician serving on the American Academy of Pediatrics' Bright Futures Early Childhood Expert Panel.
- Reflect with your child on what he or she sees, hears or reads in the media to install or restore a balanced perspective.
- Point out alternative ways to handle a situation depicted in the media.
- Consider the moral value and message in whatever media information a child is exposed to.
- Spend a couple of hours noticing all the things your child sees, reads and hears, and what messages these impart.
- Inquire where your child got a particular point of view. Only then do you have an opportunity to think about its reasonableness.
- Become more involved in your child's daily life. That's the best protection against the pernicious influence of the media.
Setting (Effective) Limits
If you want to limit your children's exposure to inappropriate media - particularly during times when you can't be there to monitor it - try these strategies:
- Don't be bashful about your family's beliefs when arranging a play date or sleep-over. Request that no scary, violent or sexual films or TV programs be shown. If you're worried about insulting the host, just say that you'd be grateful if they would respect your wishes for your child.