Stories about: Ask the Mediatrician

Ask the Mediatrician: My 11-year-old is addicted to Minecraft, what should I do?

MinecraftQ: My 11-year-old daughter is addicted to the game Minecraft. During the week it doesn’t seem to be a problem as she is busy with sports and homework. However, during the weekends she has a lot more free time and tends to spend hours playing Minecraft. What would be the amount of time that you recommend she play Minecraft per day?
~ Mind Crack or Minecraft? Burlingame/Hillsborough area, CA

Read Full Story

Is technology decreasing kids’ ability to communicate face-to-face?

teens and cell phonesQ: As a mother and a student examining media as a social issue, I’m concerned that technology is decreasing youth’s ability to communicate face-to-face, largely because most of their communication and activities are done through a screen. Is there evidence for this concern?
~  Face Facts, Bridgeport, CT

A: Dear Face,

Young people walk hand in hand, talking to others on their phones. They sit at a restaurant together, staring down at their mobile screens. It is now rare to see youth without a phone in hand, earbuds plugged in, texting, instagramming or tweeting. And with all of their scrolling, playing, photographing and status updating, they often miss out on the people and experiences happening around them. They have more connectivity than ever – and far less connectedness to others and to the world.

Read Full Story

Is it wrong for me to give my three-year-old my tablet or smartphone to use unsupervised?

shutterstock_138472184

Q: I recently read the New York Times article discussing young children using high tech devices unsupervised before they turn 4. Admittedly, I give my three-year-old daughter my iPad to play with on long car trips and I’ll occasionally hand her my smartphone while in line at the grocery store (she usually melts down otherwise). I always set up the app or TV show for her before I hand her the device, but I am now wondering if this practice is bad for her. Should I only give her a device when I can sit with her and monitor exactly how she uses it?

~ Device Denial, San Francisco, CA

Read Full Story

Media Moment: Media as a Way to Connect With Your Children

groff familyDear Reader,
Welcome to another Media Moment! This month, Laura Groff, an MA in Biblical Languages, college swim coach and mother of four, shares how she was able to use a TV show to help connect with her oldest son during the hospitalization of her youngest child who was born prematurely. These stories are meant to help create a village square of commiserating and co-celebrating the many ways media intersect with the lives of children. Please comment and even submit your own ‘Moment’ to share with your fellow readers.
Enjoy your media and use them wisely,
~The Mediatrician®

Media as a Way to Connect With Your Children

Going from kid number 3 to kid number 4 did not seem like a big deal in my head. What’s one more right? I had done this three other times.  I knew what to expect, what to anticipate and how to help the older three cope. What I did not anticipate was going into labor at 29 weeks, an ambulance ride to Boston in the middle of night and the disconnect with my older kids that fear and anxiety bring.

Read Full Story