Peer pressure: Why some kids seek out sexual media content


Parents know that the lamest excuse for doing something is that “everyone is doing it.” You’d think a teenager could come up with a better argument for doing something stupid. But, based on some recent media research, peer pressure has the power to lead kids to actively seek out sexual media content. Yes, parents, peer pressure is real. Even when it comes to sexual media content.

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Reversing the “gendered notion of brilliance”


As you may have seen, another study came out last week showing that young girls think boys are smarter than them. Media, other research shows, plays a strong role in how girls view themselves. But instead of lamenting the state of things—as so much of the “news” in social media does today—let’s talk solutions. Parents, I’m convinced that the solution to changing how girls view themselves begins and ends with you.

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“Because I said so!”—how giving kids reasons for your rules helps avoid negative media effects


Do you ever wish your kids would listen to you without them asking the oft-dreaded question, “why”? Why do I have to put on pants, Dad? Why do I have to use silverware when my hands work just fine, Mom? Why do I have to shower when I’m just going to get dirty again? Despite the sometimes superhuman effort it takes to provide answers to all the “why” questions when you set a rule for your kids, new research shows that providing reasons for the rules might make all the difference.

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An open letter to all parents who believe media is ‘digital heroin’ for kids

teens social media

To all parents who are even a bit concerned about the media “problem” among American children, here’s a spoiler alert: screen media is not going anywhere. So, we can either believe the scaremongering that is spread on social media, or we can come to terms with reality.

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Media parenting habits to adopt in 2017


If you’re anything like me, I’m glad 2016 is in the rear view mirror. I’m ready to start a new year. Like you, I’ve made a few new year’s goals. For starters, I plan to run a marathon in May. I spent all fall getting into shape, and now I’m officially in week 2 of my training! Hopefully my middle-aging body will hold up. As you set your goals for the new year, I’d like to ask you to consider how your media parenting is going. Chances are you’re already doing one or more of the habits I list below, but maybe there’s one among this list that you could do in order to better help your children benefit from media this year. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 media habits that every parent should think about adopting in 2017:

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Children of media literate parents are better off


Despite popular beliefs, the first step towards changing how children are affected by media exposure is not to take away their smartphone. It’s not changing the channel. And it’s not installing monitoring software. Instead, new research shows that if we want to change how media affects our kids, we need to start by raising the level of media literacy among parents.

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