Family Media Plan

Last week, when I first learned about the concept of developing a family media plan, I was thinking, wow, that’s so obvious, but why haven’t I done that?  My husband and I have three daughters, ages 7, 9 and 12.  We don’t have televisions in our bedroom, because as parents we don’t want our kids watching shows that we don’t approve of, plus we don’t want our kids to “veg” out in their rooms watching tv.  For many, this may seem odd, with no televisions in our bedrooms, but so far this plan works for us.  Also, we have internet in our home, IF, I turn my cell phone into a hotspot.  (We live in an area where we only have access to satellite internet and we are not interested in that route just yet)  In other words, our kids have limited access to the internet.  BUT, our kids do have their own devices with a number of apps that they access each day that don’t require wi-fi.  For example, our youngest daughter, can get lost in Mindcraft, for longer than I am willing to admit!  (Another plus for developing a family media plan)  However, after reading a recent article about media impact on our youth, either positive or negative, developing a plan seems like a healthy thing to do in our home.  Not only can you help safeguard your children against harmful messages or images, you can employ a concept, “joint media engagement,” (term coined by Lori Takeuchi and Reed Stevens) where people, such as children and parents use media together.  When caregivers engage with their children in using media, positive experiences can result.  More on this topic in a later blog.  For now, take a look at what American Academy of Pediatrics has provided to help families: How to Make a Family Media Use Plan.  Within this user-friendly and easy read, you will explore more about screen time, brain development, media curfew, obesity, social media, digital citizenship, media choices and more helpful tips that will help your family develop and tailor a plan that fits your needs.  As an aspiring librarian who will work with children and caregivers, I plan to use this information to help me fill the role of digital media mentor.  If you have any helpful suggestions or resources, as I always, I welcome your feedback!  Thanks for stopping by.

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