We recently ran a post on whether or not it’s OK for parents to monitor their teenagers’ Facebook page if they suspect the child is engaging in risky behaviors like drinking or drug use. In this blog by Children’s media expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, a parent asks for advice on how to balance her desire to respect her son’s online privacy while still setting limits on much time he spends on the computer.
Q: My 16-year-old son uses the computer constantly at home in his room and almost always claims he is doing homework. He doesn’t want me to look over his shoulder and see what he is doing when I come into his room, and frankly, I want to allow him his privacy when he is on the computer, as well as in other areas of his life. I believe that he spends too much time on the computer, to the detriment of other activities such as time with family, reading, extracurricular activities, etc., but he disagrees and doesn’t want to be controlled by his parents. Any suggestions?
-Computer confused mom, NY, NY …
From swine flu to obesity to dangerous plastics, many issues that affect children’s health garnered media attention in the year 2009. Here’s a rundown of the some of the biggest and most important stories:
This is the story that caught the most attention—for good reason. Not only is the H1N1 influenza virus very contagious, it appears to particularly affect young people. H1N1 caused more pediatric hospitalizations and deaths than we usually see with the seasonal influenza virus, which is very scary for parents (and pediatricians!). The virus led to countless school closings—sometimes to control the spread, and sometimes because there weren’t enough teachers left to teach! …
In the beginning of October, we blogged about how the French Parliament was trying to pass a law stating that published images must have a bold face notice saying if they are digitally enhanced. It got us to thinking about the sorts of images that teens are exposed to every day in magazines and television shows. How are they affected by it? What sort of pressure are teens under in order to obtain “perfection”?