Dad/husband Arnie and mom/wife Maria are doing the right thing by restricting media use in their home, according to an expert: “When I come home at night and we have dinner, there’s no phone calls accepted. The kids aren’t allowed to have cell phones at the table,” Schwarzenegger said to Diane Sawyer on ABC Nightly News 10/27/10. In fact, across party lines, president Obama’s kids don’t get to watch TV during the week.
According to Dr. Eitan Schwarz, a Chicago-area psychiatrist, these are examples of smart parents protecting their family’s family life in a way all parents these days must do by limiting the time and place of technology use. “I also wish that the press would focus more attention on these fine examples of how parents deal with media, so that standards in popular culture could change for the betterment of family life.”
Dr. Schwarz, also known to his patients as Dr. S, says, “But restricting is not enough if we are to raise children successful in the digital age. Parents must also systematically select the content of media for their kids’ consumption with as much thought and care they give to selecting the foods they feed them.”
Dr . S adds, “These are powerful tools, and not toys. Parents should regard them as appliances. None belongs in the home with kids if it does not serve their development and the well-being of the family. I discuss fully the ingredients of age-dependent media plans in my book ‘Kids, Parents, and Technology: A Guide for Young Families’ and online at MyDigitalFamily.org.”