TV. Web Surfing. IMing. Text Messaging. Video Games. iPods.
Kids today are plugged into so much, so much of the time, it’s hard to keep track. But parents do know this much: It’s too much, already! In this book, parent and scholar David Dutwin, Ph.D., shows parents everywhere how to cut the digital cord and free their children to play and learn the old-fashioned way - actively!
Organized in three sections, this practical, prescriptive book offers a balanced - and realistic - approach for every age, including how to: introduce toddlers to TV - or not; let little kids use computers; control pre-teens’ online access; evaluate the pros and cons of video games; filter the Internet for teens; combat the impact of the media; and counteract all that sex and violence. This guide arms parents with all the tricks and tools they need to make sure their kids remain happy, healthy, active, and aware, no matter how pervasive the digital world we live in becomes. Get it on Amazon.
Resources from Dr. David Dutwin
Search Engines for Kids
When you begin to explore the Internet with your child, don’t use “normal” web search engines like Yahoo or Google. Use kids‘ versions instead. These tend to filter out inappropriate sites and often only list kid-specific sites. These include:
Sites that Rate Video Games
(For Early Elementary School Children) Video Games can be educational, just like computer games can. Here are some sites that review and rate games for age appropriateness:
• LovetoKnow.com: A small site with a small list of approved games for kids.
• MediaFamily.org: National Institute on Media and the Family, an organization with an eye out for video game violence and other inappropriate content. (Search for their video game report card.)
• esrb.org: Entertainment Software Rating Board, the board that provides the official ratings of all video games.
• ign.com: IGN Entertainment, a good site just to see what a game is all about, but which doesn’t include ratings.
• CommonSenseMedia.org: Dedicated to improving the media and entertainment lives of kids and families. As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, they provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.
Safe News Sources for Kids
Article: Talking with Your Kids about the News
“Media literacy can make people smarter: media literacy teaches critical thinking. It allows people to live lives unchained. They can make up their own minds about things rather than be beholden to the influence of mass media. And, media literacy and critical thinking can teach kids to be more analytical in everyday life.” - Dr. David Dutwin
Unplug Your Kids Blog
by an unplugged mom of three living a TV-free life …
with a few crafts and books thrown in!
Your Prevention Program for Cyber Predators
Here are ten “rules of the road” developed by protectkids.com. Share these with your kids and make sure they understand them.
1. Never give out personal information such as name, address, and phone number.
2. Never meet anyone in person that you met online.
3. Do not use chat rooms.
4. Never give out schedule information: where you will be, and whether and when your parents are home (not even to friends... tell them in person or on the phone).
5. Never respond to new people you meet online. Have a parent review that person's request first.
6. Never go to an online area that costs money without your parent's permission.
7. Never send a picture of yourself over the internet.
8. Never buy products and/or use a credit card online without your parent's permission.
9. Always immediately end any online experience that makes you uncomfortable.
10. Always tell mom and dad about something that was upsetting to you online.
Source: Unplug Your Kids
Getting Addicted to the Internet
Like other forms of addiction, Internet addiction can be broken down into key elements:
• Salience: Using the Internet becomes the most important recreational activity in one's life.
• Mood Modification: The Internet becomes a primary method of relieving bad moods and elevating good moods.
• Tolerance: More and more time on the Internet is necessary to get the same type of mood modification than before.
• Withdrawal Symptoms: NOT being on the Internet creates an uneasy feeling.
• Conflict: The Internet is the activity of choice even in situations where this cause conflict with other activities, including schoolwork, sleep, and for adults and older teeenagers, work.
• Relapse: Periods of being offline are followed by a heightened need to reconnect.
Source: Unplug Your Kids