Child advocate James P. Steyer offers the following steps that parents can take to counteract the influence of the “other parent.”
- Establish good media habits early.
- Keep TVs and computers out of your child’s room.
- Set a media diet and stick to it.
- Teach your child to ask permission to use media.
- Watch and listen with your kids—then tell them what you like and don’t like, and why.
- Set clear rules regarding your child’s media use in other homes.
- Have pediatricians review your kids’ media use as part of their annual check-up.
- Teach media literacy (the ability to think critically about media messages and images they receive) in school and at home.
- Read to your child and share positive media experiences.
- Switch the dial to off.
From The Other Parent: How the Media Shapes Kids’ Lives, by James P. Steyer, Atria Books, 2002.