I know that I keep talking about children and how media usage effects them. But I not only know this to be true from being a preschool teacher and a parent of two, but I believe in my heart that we need to help one another navigate through this media driven world.
I sometimes wonder why children have such a desire to have a cell phone, to text their friends, or play video games, watch violent movies, or even inappropriate television. But then I evaluate my own media usage and that of my friends and family. Children want to be adults at such a young age. Before there were cell phones and computers, the children wanted to drive as eary as possible, have a family and career of their own, and do things that made them feel grown up and adult. So, it would only figure that they would want to do everything that we, as adults, would do, including our media habits.
I am trying to model the media usage behavior that I would want them to display when they are older. I don’t text and drive, and try not to talk on the phone at all while driving. I do not text during meals, or any time that I am interacting with my children. I set aside time to use the computer, watch television, text and email while they are busy doing something else. I don’t want them to feel as though my media usage is more important than the time I get to spend with them. We do not have the television running while they are playing, they have set aside times to watch it, and so do I. I do not have the television running while I am doing other things as well. I shut down all media devices while they are not in use, so that there are specific times to use these, and that does not mean all day long. We cannot expect our children to live by a different standard than the one that we are setting for them.