The amount of time children of all ages are spending with new media, which includes the internet, computers, and video games is staggering. The old type of media to include music and television are being taken over. Experts have been conducting in-depth analysis to determine the use of media in respect to our children.
For instance, one study showed that the use of television, video, video games, music, computers, print, and movies associated with recreational use only is something children are exposed to every day and for more than one hour over the course of the past five years. Although all sources of media saw a significant increase, video games was the most dramatic.
Included in this study was that the amount of multi-tasking with media had grown from 16% to 26%. More and more, children across the country are using media sources longer and more frequently. Interestingly, the one place within the home that has seen the most increase is the children’s bedroom. It used to be that kids used their rooms for reading and sleeping but today, the bedroom is the multi-media center for many children.
As an example, 68% of eight to eighteen year olds have a television in their bedroom. Then, 49% of kids in this same age group have a video game player. Even the number of kids having a DVD or VCR player in the bedroom has gone from 36% to 54%. Then, cable or satellite television has risen from 29% to 37%, computers in the bedroom have gone from 21% to 31%, and kids with internet access in the bedroom is not up to 20% from the earlier reported 10%.
What parents need to understand is that while media certainly has its place and in many instances can actually be educational, too much media is taking over our children’s lives. The best solution is to set rules about the amount of time these forms of media are used, as well as the type of media. I also recommend that instead of the media begin in the children’s bedroom, move it to the family room where things can be better monitored.