Summary of Media Moms & Digital Dads

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By 2010, children were spending more time with electronic devices than with their parents or in school. Is digital access destroying childhood? Child psychologist Yalda T. Uhls urges parents not to worry. Calling on multiple and varied studies, including her own, she discusses the mostly positive research on children and media use, and she helps parents understand and manage the media habits of their children, from toddlers to teenagers. She explains how families should take an active role in setting their media consumption and includes research on how children and teenagers learn through digital means. getAbstract recommends her thoughtful, encouraging conclusions to parents, educators, policy makers and anyone in a digital business.

About the Author

Yalda T. Uhls, PhD, is a regional director for the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media and a senior researcher at the Children’s Digital Media Center @ LA at the University of California at Los Angeles.



Parenting in the Digital Era

The cellphone is “the most rapidly adopted consumer technology in the history of the world.” From 2005 to 2013, the global pace of mobile phone subscriptions outstripped population growth. In 2013, the United States reported an average of six web-connected devices per household – more than the number of people in each home.

Social media are ubiquitous. Touch screen technology is so simple that even infants and toddlers can use it. From 2011 to 2013, kids younger than the age of eight doubled their use and ownership of mobile devices. By 2013, 78% of young children had used cellphones and tablets.

In 2012, researchers found that media consumption was lowest among families with children aged two to six, but they also discovered that parents didn’t monitor their kids’ content as frequently as parents of children aged seven to twelve. Elementary school students’ increased media use meant a decrease in time spent in other activities.

Parental Involvement

Parents should consider whether to allow electronic media in their kids’ bedrooms, whether they will prescreen or watch programs with their children, and whether they will...

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