Parenting & Media

PARENTING & MEDIA: “Be where you are when you are there” -Elder Ridd

Media milestones:

The best way to consume media, if it is going to happen, is together as a family.

New American Association of Pediatrics guidelines (2016):

  • under 18 months: video chatting is okay, otherwise avoid screen time.
  • 18-24 months: 30-60 minutes of quality programming.
  • 2-5 yo: up to 60 minutes of quality programming. Watch with the kiddos for understanding.
  • 6 yo+: Be consistent with media usage guidelines and don’t let it interfere with sleep, exercise and other essential things to be a happy, healthy kid.
  • Pick media free times & places
  • Communicate about media usage

AAP Media published guidelines

Things parents can do:

  • Cocooning – best when kids are younger, you just don’t let them consume certain types of media
  • Pre-arming – teach kids what is appropriate and to some extent let them choose what is okay
  • Co-watching/Playing – consume media with kid with little restrictions
  • Co-Use – take in media with the kids so you can discuss it with them after the media is over

The best is to mix all of these together at the right times.

Reasons to not completely restrict:

  • Media usage will skyrocket when they leave the house if there are too many restrictions
  • Educational media can improve literacy and academic achievement
  • Prosocial media improves social behaviors and is associated with more sympathy

Issues or concerns for Media Use:

  • How much media will we consume?
    • No specific time limits, may sometimes force an hour break
    • Teach kids to self monitor
  • What will be our guidelines for deciding what media to consume?
    • Media should be educational and prosocial in most circumstances.
    • Avoid violent media.
    • Use
    • Understand the types of ratings:


movie ratings

Video games:

Image result for video game ratings

TV shows:

Image result for understanding tv show ratings


  • When and where will we restrict media?
    • When?
      • At bedtime – this may change from age to age
      • In the morning – not before 7 am
      • When homework needs to be done
    • Where?
      • In the bedroom – no social media, video games, or videos
      • At the dinner table – must be put away, unless told otherwise
      • While driving – ABSOLUTELY NOT
  • Avoiding technoference
    • Like Elder Ridd said, “Be where you are when you are there.” – instill this principle on kids.
    • If kids want to talk, put your phone away.
    • Don’t allow your phone to make you respond to your children more harshly because they want your attention – just give them attention because they need love

One final fun thing: 89 Family Movies


L. Walker, Lecture 19: Parenting and Media, SFL 240, Winter 2017.


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