Research shows 8-18 year olds on average spent 1456 hours (91 days) CONSUMED by TV alone not including other media. Compare that to a mere 900 hours spent in school!
Are your kids coming home “plugged in” to their headphone and disappearing to their rooms? It’s a media epidemic and the long term effects may not be fully evident yet.
Many parents and educators are successfully using their positive influence to break these trends and improve social skills, communication, and grades!
There’s an Electronic Media Epidemic Facing Children Today. Let’s explore the threat and some strategies to succeed and overcome it.
Electronic Media is integral to many wonderful things in our lives. Yet a generation is nearly enslaved to electronic devices.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation Study* reveals that kids ages 8-18 spend on average. 12 hours and 10 minutes DAILY using electronic media devices . . . for entertainment purposes! That includes TV, movies, music, audio, videos games, and computers.
That’s 4,428 hours per year, 4x the amount of time spent in school each year!
TV time alone averages 1,456 hours yearly! Imagine spending the waking hours of 91 days entirely consumed by TV!
Family members often feel ignored and rejected when other members of the household spend too much time on the internet or watching TV.
When 4-6 year-olds were asked whether they would rather watch TV or spend time with their dad . . .54% said they would rather watch TV!
What are the experts saying?
“While no one can argue the benefits of advancing technology in today’s world, many children are . . . hardwiring [their] brains for violent high-speed and fast-paced action, resulting in an unprecedented rise in child aggression, violence and crime.” (Anderson & Gentile, 2007) 
“Neural pathway formation in children who overuse technology is „short-circuiting‟ the frontal cortex, permanently altering the way children think and behave, creating unimaginable problems for the education and penal systems.”
What can you do?
Well, here are some proven, easy to remember ideas…
Regulate Electronic Media Usage
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children watch no more than one to two hours of quality TV or videos daily.
- Children under age two should not watch TV.
- They urge parents to not allow TV usage in children’s rooms.
- They also advise against children watching TV while doing homework.
Parents may wish to consider regulating usage of other types of electronics as well.
Widespread overuse of electronic media is contributing to a society of youth who struggle in their ability to communicate, and is compounding social, emotional and academic challenges.
Consider a replacement for electronics
Experts tell us that, “childhood play is crucial for social, emotional and cognitive development”.
Playing board games with family or friends can be a fun, inexpensive approach to strengthening each of these areas.
Increase creative activities
Activities requiring creative production have been found to enhance
- Problem solving
- Idea generation and ingenuity
- Motor skills (eye-hand coordination)
Being able to carry a project through to completion provides a strong sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
Working on creative projects together strengthens family relationships and creates lasting memories.
Take Interest in Their Activities
Children whose parents are involved in their schooling are
- Less likely to experience social or behavioral problems
- More likely to become accomplished readers and writers
Spend family time together
- Builds better communication skills
- Encourages trusting relationships
- Increases feelings of self-worth
Many family activities can also greatly strengthen academic skills and personality traits.
Your taking the time to plan and facilitate such activities will multiply the benefits you AND your children will reap many times over. Remember They WILL BE plugged in unless deliberate steps are taken to replace this time.
You and I have an awesome responsibility and privilege to instill life-long habits that will keep kids safe, increase their chances of becoming responsible adults, and prepare them for success.
Many parents have discovered chess, one of the very best ways to engage kids in a positive way. We at Chess House want to help you or your class enjoy the benefits of chess.