A fairly regular post from a busy mom concerned about raising healthy children.
My five-year old has an MP3 player. She got it for her birthday and didn't have a clue what it was, neither did I initially. After she unwrapped it, I imagined her downloading music into it and dancing around--how cute! Then I imagined her staying put in her room and tuning me out--not so cute--so I tucked that gift away for now..
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a study showing that children ages 8-18 spend over seven hours on some type of media entertainment--TV, computer, video games, etc. Seven hours! Where do they find the time? Apparently, they are very good at multi-tasking, which means they watch TV, while on the computer, listening to music. Hmm, that sounds familiar... Still, it's a bit startling that kids are putting in over almost 50 hours a week engaged in using different media.
This study doesn't make a connection between screen time and obesity but a 2004 Kaiser study discussed the use of media and the correlation to increased rates in childhood obesity.
I'm no scientist, but to me it seems simple--sitting around watching TV, playing video games, on the computer or texting is taking away from the time we should encourage our kids to be engaged in a physical or creative activity--playing sports, riding bikes--and what about reading good old fashioned books!!
Admittedly, my daughter knows how to use the iPhone better than I do so I'm guilty too, but I think we'll keep the MP3 player tucked away a bit longer--though I still want to watch her dance.