Once again, according to US News Health, parents are trying to gain control of their children’s media access, to prevent them from exposure to negative images. Instead, parents are encouraged to step up and help children learn how to become responsible human beings (“Children, Sex, and the Media”).
According to statistics this past year, parents have not been very successful in monitoring the sexual responsibility of their children. The United States has the “highest rate of teen pregnancies in the developed world and 25 percent of American teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease” (“Children, Sex, and the Media”). Instead of turning to parents to answer sex questions, teens find their answers in the media. In order for parents to regain control and monitor their child’s sexual behavior, they must do the following: 1) Limit all screen media time to a maximum of two hours a day; 2) Get the TV and computer out of children’s bedrooms; and 3) Use sex in the media to do on-the-spot sexual education (“Children, Sex, and the Media”).
In my opinion, number 3 is most important because it allows for parental involvement, as opposed to passive aggressive behavior of turning off the television. Number 3 will help parents relate to their children and ease into the conversation of sex while there may never be a better time to bring it up.
In terms of proper, responsible media usage, US News also suggests that parents: 1) Ban the TV from the kids’ bedrooms; 2) Turn off the TV during dinner; 3) Ask your kids about their “media day”; 4) Set rules for your kids’ media consumption; and 5) Turn off your phone (Shute).
Most importantly, you have to be a role model for your children; however, I don’t think you need to set such strict rules surrounding media usage. Children in the next generation will learn how to adapt to their environment and will learn how they work best, whether it be in a noisy environment or in a quiet setting. Either way, these parental involvement suggestions are only meant to offer alternative ways to solve an overexposure to media. Most families should handle such issues on a case by case basis.
How would you handle this situation – if your child spend 6 hours a day watching television, on the internet, and on his/her phone?
“Children, Sex, and the Media: 3 Ways for Parents to Gain Control.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 01 Sept. 2010. Web. 16 Apr. 2012.
Shute, Nancy. “5 Ways to Make Kids’ Media Use Safe and Healthy.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.