This sounds extreme, but first let me ask: how many parents do you think actually keep track of their kids’ screen time? If the TV is on but one of the children wanders out of the room, does that count? What if they’re following along to a yoga video? What if the kid borrows Mom’s phone at dinner to ask Google what snails eat?
Guidelines abound that encourage limiting “screen time.” The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, recommends two hours or less per day, and says screens “should be avoided” for kids under 2. While I hate to see kids vegging out in front of the TV, I think these limits are based more on knee-jerk reactions (kids these days and their screens!) than on anything that’s actually meaningful to kids’ development. READ MORE: The Case for Unlimited Tablet Time for Toddlers | Public Health.
You May Also Like: Concerns About Children, Social Media and Technology Use | July 16, 2015 | Pew Research Center Snip: “In this survey, 33% of parents said they have had concerns or questions about their child’s technology use in the past 12 months. Mothers and fathers are equally likely to have had concerns and questions. Parents who have children over the age of 5 are significantly more likely than parents who only have children under age 5 to say they have had questions or concerns of this type over the past year (36% vs. 21%).”
As part of our series about technology in prisons called “Jailbreak,” we paid a visit to a new program that uses technology to fill an important role in the development of the children of those who are incarcerated.
Organizers say the TeleStory program the first of its kind in the country. At the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York, families of inmates bring their children to a special room filled with toys and books. Even more unique: the room is virtually connected to a prison on Rikers Island. via Connecting inmates with their children through books | Marketplace.org.
At the link the author further recommends in the article 23 books about girls for little boys to read. Great post!
I recently took my infant son to a gathering where he played happily on the floor, the center of attention in a ring of adults who were all interacting with and admiring him. Then I mentioned that his new favorite toy is bright pink. The men in the circle chuckled awkwardly and exchanged glances, and then someone joked: “so does that mean he’s gay?” I see this kind of gender policing happening so often, so early, for little boys.
In a related issue, when Nicola Griffith posted her astonishing data showing that books about women don’t win awards, it begged the question: why don’t men seem to care about women’s stories? Why don’t judging panels value the experiences of women? And yet I’ve heard this offhanded sentiment from friends of mine who are men: “I guess it’s a pretty good story — even though it’s about a girl.”
The root of the problem, I believe, isn’t simply that men don’t care about women or can’t imagine women’s experiences. It’s that they are actively shamed — even as infants! — when they show interest in anything perceived as “girly” or as a compromise to their masculinity. They’re not supposed to like pink, or dolls, or dresses, or princesses, or stories about girls. They hear it first from their caregivers and authority figures, and then from each other once they’ve internalized the message. READ MORE: Let’s Stop Shaming Little Boys Who Read About Girls | BookRiot