Let’s face it: the media plays a much larger role in our daughter’s lives than it ever did in our lives when we were young. I remember when MTV came out. When cell phones became small enough to hold in your hand and actually affordable. When PG-13 became a rating option. It wasn’t until my senior year of college, that my university got email.
Our daughter’s childhood is very different than our own. Did you know that the average child sees 20,000 30-second TV commercials each year? Just how much media exposure does your family get each week?
For the next week I challenge you to keep track. Write down all media exposure each of your family members get for the next week, including television, videotapes, movies, music, the computer, radio, books, magazines, and newspapers. How much time is spent in each of these activities?
Things to think about:
1) How many hours each week do your children have unsupervised media access?
2) Who decides what your family will watch on TV?
3) Which programs do you watch? Do your children watch these with you or is your TV time after they go to bed?
4) Which books, magazines, and other reading material do you and your children read? Do you ever read together?
5) Where is the television located? Do you have multiple TVs? Do your kids have their own TVs in their bedrooms?
6) How often is the television on during meals? Does it influence the quality or quantity of dinner conversation? If so, do you ever talk about what you are watching as a family?
7) Are you satisfied with the influence of media in your home? What would you like to change?
I hope you found this week’s activity insightful and learn as much about yourself as you do about your daughter!
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