APPLE TABLET: Does America’s Youth Need Yet Another Great Tech Device?
1/5 of kids 8-18 spend up to 19 hrs/d (including texting and multitasking) total media time. Media use is associated with poorer grades and family life and less reading and imaginative play. When parents set limits for 1/3 of youngsters, media consumption drops by only 1/3, showing that restriction is just not enough.
Technology is great — we need to use it in positive, proactive family-centered applications. But in the 10+ years of media explosion into the lives of younger and younger children, there has been little systematic effort to guide parents about their best use.
My advice: Parent have home court advantage, but there is no quick fix. Their commitment must be big, and they need good expert help. Parents should plan kids’ media use just like they plan meals for healthy nutrition. Start early and work at it as part of daily parenting. A Media Plan must be based on sound child development and family health principles and must help families succeed as their kids brains are wired actively during early childhood. It must prevent improper chaotic use in the teen years before it starts.
Does America’s youth need another great tech device? Yes and no, depending how it is used, and parents must be in charge.