Showing posts from February, 2018

Helping Children Deal with Tragedy in the News

Preschoolers and young school-aged children easily can be frightened by images of disasters.  They live in a world somewhere between reality and fantasy, and often have difficulty distinguishing between the two. They also have not yet developed their full understanding of mortality, or whether something on television is far away or close by.  Here are some guidelines for handling children’s exposure to devastating events in the news.    Limit Their Exposure .  This is a good time to fall back on effectively managing their access to the television by limiting the amount of time they watch it.  If you have to watch it yourself, get your children involved in another activity at that time.  There are numerous university studies that confirm the high amount of violence on television and the effects on children.  Some of these effects include desensitization to the pain and suffering of others, more fearfulness in general, and increased aggressiveness toward others.    Explain It to Th

Should Playtime Be Controlled?

A grandparent posted a comment on one of my social media channels. She said, "My dear grandchildren earn their toys and playtime and screen time with tickets. X number required for X activity or toy. Tickets taken away for sass or disobedience. Works like a charm. Helps kids learn to police themselves." My response to her was this: "I'm delighted to hear that you found something that works for you with managing screen time, good for you. Screen time should be kept to no more that 30 - 60 mins. per day for young children. I am concerned however, that you are controlling healthy playtime. It is my opinion that playtime should be given automatically to children, as is oxygen and healthy food. Healthy, non screentime play is critical to a child's development and should not be controlled or withheld. Toys on the other hand, must be controlled because many children have too many. Too many toys can lead to anxiety and chaos." "My children could onl