Changing the Channel

February 2, 2012

Reading time min

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.

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