Parents as shoulder angels: Conversations can make up for media parenting weaknesses

friends on cell phone

What I want most as a parent is for my kids to listen to the little angel on the one shoulder, and to ignore the little devil on the other. Little do parents know, however, that what we do today can become the shoulder angel our kids need.

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How empathy changes parents—A true story about a kid, a bicycle, and a mountain

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We already know that no two kids are the same. But it wasn’t until I took a kid’s place for a day that I began to truly appreciate what that means. The story I’m about to share is personal and true, and it might change the way you see your kids, and how you parent—both in terms of media parenting and otherwise. I’ve shared this story with parents in other contexts before, but I think it bears sharing again.

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‘Girl in a Country Song’: New Research Confirms that Country Music Objectifies Women More Now than in the Past, and Male Singers Are Driving the Trend

CountryMusicGirl

Turns out Maddie & Tae were right—new research shows that girls in country songs really are only good for their looks.

In 2014 the country duo Maddie & Tae released their hit single “Girl in a Country Song,” a song that laments how women in country music today are portrayed as objects, play-things meant to satisfy a man. As you know, I have 4 daughters, and they all listen to country music. Wanting to know if my daughters really are exposed to messages in country music telling them that what makes them special is how they look and how tight their clothes are, we analyzed 750 country songs from the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s for how they portrayed women.

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My own research ruined this moment with SpongeBob

SpongeBob

A few weeks ago we found ourselves eating breakfast at Universal Studios in Florida, when SpongeBob walked in and put a hand on my shoulder. I’ve written a little about SpongeBob before, so you might already know that SpongeBob is perhaps my least favorite television character of all-time. So, when he walked up to me that day, you can see that the camera, albeit blurry, caught the precise moment in time when my wife’s eyes wondered just exactly what my reaction would be.

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What the kids of a media researcher think of television

 

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When people find out that I study children and media, they often say something like, “So, I bet your kids don’t watch a lot of TV.” I’m writing today to clear up that misconception, and to also provide some encouragement to parents who don’t know if they’re parenting efforts will ever make a difference.

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Social media: Hostile and angry, or funny and creative? New study shows parents aren’t sure.

teens social media

Now I know how Neville Longbottom felt when trying take on a whole army of death eaters by himself. Not long ago I got up the courage to post my opinion about a controversial political issue on Facebook. The best way to sum up what happened next was, well, it seemed like hell had released all of its demons on me. I was a bigot. I was intolerant. And a bunch of other things that would have made Voldemort himself blush.

Continue reading “Social media: Hostile and angry, or funny and creative? New study shows parents aren’t sure.”