What do you mean by “interactive media,” what are they?
Internet, MP3 players, video games, cell phones with all of their applications/bells and whistles, Blu-Ray videos, baby DVDs, TV, and all the other devices just around the corner or waiting to be invented.
We’re now already well into the second decade of the Web and video games have been around even longer. But in some important ways we haven’t advanced much because children’s consumption of interactive media in most homes is still far from being healthy. Families are drifting apart and just not benefiting from media as well as they could.
What needs fixing?
The ways kids, families, and technology mix. Kids need parents to be more proactively giving them the basic everyday values and the orientation they need now, and will need for the future, to successfully handle technology. But no-one is teaching parents how.
Why are you talking mainly to parents about children’s media?
Only parents simultaneously both care enough about kids AND can do what it takes to keep children’s growing brains healthy and minds green.
What are ‘green’ minds?
The developing brain is actually an awesome living environment that needs to stay ‘green’ to function at its best and grow. Parents are hard-wiring children’s brains all the time.
Why do you focus on younger children and even toddlers?
Planting the seeds early will yield the best results later. Parents have the home court advantage. The earlier kids learn that a balanced use of interactive media is a normal and beneficial part of family life, the better.
What about older kids and teens?
By now, most have already staked their claim to interactive media as their independent turf (and for a minority it might be a lightening-rod for other issues). Nevertheless, most teens can also be reasonable and somewhat flexible, working with you and maybe even helping with their younger siblings.