Screen Time: How Electronic Media--From Baby Videos to Educational Software--Affects Your Young Child

Overview


As a mother, Lisa Guernsey wondered about the influence of television on her two young daughters. As a reporter, she resolved to find out. What she first encountered was tired advice, sensationalized research claims, and a rather draconian mandate from the American Association of Pediatricians: no TV at all before the age of two. But, like many parents, she wanted straight answers and realistic advice, so she kept digging: she visited infant-perception labs and child development centers around the country. She ...
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Screen Time: How Electronic Media--From Baby Videos to Educational Software--Affects Your Young Child

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Overview


As a mother, Lisa Guernsey wondered about the influence of television on her two young daughters. As a reporter, she resolved to find out. What she first encountered was tired advice, sensationalized research claims, and a rather draconian mandate from the American Association of Pediatricians: no TV at all before the age of two. But, like many parents, she wanted straight answers and realistic advice, so she kept digging: she visited infant-perception labs and child development centers around the country. She interviewed scores of parents, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and media researchers, as well as programming executives at Noggin, Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and PBS. Much of what she found flies in the face of conventional wisdom and led her to conclude that new parents will be best served by focusing on “the three C’s”: content, context, and the individual child.
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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal
...balanced, lucid .a worthwhile book.Relying on dozens of scientific studies Ms. Guernsey explores the intricacies of ÿtrying to unpick the complicated weave of what goes on inside the head of a 1 - 2 year-old child crouched before a glowing screen.
Neil Izenberg
Journalist and mother Lisa Guernsey probes the powerful effects of video and TV on the developing mind. Brilliantly researched and engagingly written, Into the Minds of Babes answers the question that pediatricians, parents, and producers have wanted to know.will early childhood media create a new generation of baby Einsteins or baby zombies? (Neil Izenberg, M.D., FAAP, Pediatrician and Editor-in-Chief, KidsHealth.org)
New York Post
...fascinating and terrific new book.Guernsey doesn't take sides, but she raises more than enough questions (and thoughtful and lived solutions) that by the end of this informative, personable book I was glad to defer, once again, to my wife's good judgment in keeping the idiot box far from my daughters wandering eyes.
St. Petersburgh SunTimes
As a parent of two young TV-watching girls, this former New York Times reporter attacks established myths, alleviates paranoia and finds a common-sense solution for how much television, if any, kids should watch.
Publishers Weekly

A science journalist and mother of two, Guernsey manages to extricate straightforward information and guidelines from the morass of research, articles and debates on screen media and child brain development. Easily digestible chapters are smartly structured around 12 pervasive concerns of interviewees from all walks of life. Guernsey explains how parents can shrewdly navigate a TV, DVD and video game market that has only begun developing its potential, much like the minds of the children it targets. Wisely sticking to manageable and legitimate solutions suitable for parents who don't see abstention as an option, Guernsey encourages parents to balance TV-watching with creative play and parent-child bonding time. The "three Cs" approach-considering content, context and child when making decisions about media-watching-is easily understood and adaptable to any family situation. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Television Quarterly magazine
A gift to parents . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465029808
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 634,857
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Lisa Guernsey is an education, science, and technology writer who has contributed to the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chronicle of Higher Education. A former reporter on technology and education for the New York Times, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and two children.
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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Paperback Edition xi

Preface, or the Three Cs: Content, Context and Your Child xv

1 What Exactly Is This Video Doing to My Baby's Brain? 1

ADHD and autism-should I be worried?

Why do pediatricians say no screen time before age 2?

Notes 25

2 Is TV Turning My Tot Into a Zombie? 27

Why does it look like my child is tuning out?

At what age do children become mentally engaged?

Notes 42

3 Could My Child Learn from Baby Videos? 45

How and when do toddlers learn from audiovisual media?

What is the "video deficit?"

Notes 65

4 My Toddler Doesn't Seem to Notice When the TV Is O-or Does He? 67

What is the impact of background television?

How does noise affect language development?

Notes 84

5 Which Videos Are Too Scary for My Child? 87

What content is most upsetting to young children?

What should I do when they get frightened by -what they see?

Notes 111

6 What Is Educational About "Educational" TV? 113

What are the features of a well-designed preschool show?

Have children really been shown to benefit from educational shows?

Notes 132

7 Could the Right DVD Teach My Child to Speak, or Better Yet, Become Bilingual? 135

What exactly leads to language development?

Will foreign-language videos give my children an edge?

Notes 149

8 Can Electronic Media Enrich My Child's Vocabulary? 151

At what age can a video make the most difference?

Under what conditions do children learn words from TV?

Notes 170

9 Could This Program Teach My Child to Be a Good Person? 173

Is there any evidence that videos can inspire good character?

How are TV, pretend play and good behavior connected?

Notes 191

10 Is Interactive Media Worthwhile-or at Least Better Than TV? 193

Are screen-based toys of any use to babies?

Is educational software a good idea for preschoolers?

Notes 213

11 Will Screen Time Make My Children Fat? 215

Are there real connections between TV and obesity?

Does the location of the TV matter?

Notes 231

12 How Do Real Families Make Smart Media Choices? 233

How do they cope with siblings? sickness? single parenthood?

What are some examples of limits that stick?

Notes 252

Epilogue 253

Appendix I Movie Review Web Sites 277

Appendix II Web Site Reviews of Interactive Media 279

Appendix III Resources on the Use of Electronic Media with Children Who Have Special Needs 281

Acknowledgments 283

Bibliography 285

Index 299

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