Parent Education Evening: The Good and Bad of TV and Other Media

By Heather Carpenter, Executive Director

On Wednesday, October 18 Cedar Crest Academy was pleased to host our annual Parent Education Evening.   Parents from all four campuses – Redmond, Park Highland, Kirkland, and Bellewood – came out to enjoy an evening to hear about The Good and Bad of TV and Other Media with Miriam Dressler of Bloom Education.  During this 90 minute workshop, parents learned the facts about the positive and negative effects of television, Internet, social media, and electronic games, and their effects on children’s physical, social, and emotional development.

Through great discussion, Miriam engaged those in attendance by offering facts and suggesting best practices and solutions.  Although all forms of media can be informative and can connect one to a larger community or world, parents must also be aware it can be misleading and present a sense of fantasy rather than reality to highly impressionable children.

Miriam suggests limiting screen time.  In fact, children from birth to two years old should receive no screen time, and children from two to six years old should limit screen time to one hour per day.  Miriam and research agree these limits will support the development of healthy brain architecture necessary for a successful learner.  Too much screen time increases levels of adrenalin and cortisol and is linked to obesity, aggression, poor social skills, low academic performance, and increased childhood depression.  Children engaging in too much screen time may also suffer the effects of under developed social skills, low levels of emotional maturity, and less self-regulation.

Parents lead by example.  Miriam stresses the importance of parents putting down their devices and interacting with their children instead, especially during meal times and when dropping off and/or picking up children from school.  Miriam also encourages families to replace screen time with physical activity and/or discussion.  A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.  Getting playful and laughing with your children will lower anxiety and stress, promote social self-regulations, enhance social skills, increase self-esteem and self-confidence, and decrease the chance of childhood obesity.  Limiting screen time and making a conscious decision to set down one’s device will ultimately strengthen family bonds and promote healthy relationships.  Let’s all give it a try!