Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age Fiveby Lisa Guernsey
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 Academy of Pediatrics: no TV at all before the age of two. But like many parents, she wanted
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 Academy of Pediatrics: 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.
Advocating a new approach to television and DVDs, Guernsey focuses on infants to five-year-olds and goes beyond the headlines to explore what exactly is “educational” about educational media. She examines how play and language development are affected by background and foreground television and how to choose videos that are age-appropriate. She explains how to avoid the hype of “brain stimulation” and focus instead on social relationships and the building blocks of language and literacy. Along the way, Guernsey highlights independent research on shows ranging from Dora the Explorer to Dragon Tales, and distills some surprising new findings in the field of child development. Into the Minds of Babes is a fascinating book that points out how little credible research exists to support the AAP’s dire recommendation. Parents, teachers, and psychologists will be relieved to learn positive approaches to using videos with young children and will be empowered to make their own informed choices.
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
- Basic Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.69(d)
- Age Range:
- 13 - 18 Years
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Meet the Author
Lisa Guernsey is an education, science, and technology writer who has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the 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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