[RFHF] In the News: The Best Gift to Give a Kid

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Tue Dec 4 13:07:54 PST 2012

Hello! I just read an article in TIME Ideas online that reiterates much of what we already know about the impact of having the TV on in the background while children play.

*         With the TV on, children were essentially bopping from one toy to another.

*         Just because your child is not staring at the TV, mouth open with toy dropped, that doesn't mean it isn't affecting how deeply they are playing,"

*         Research shows that enabling children the time and space to get lost in play is linked to healthy development of the human mind.

*         helpful "self-talk" may get sidelined, though, when children have audiovisual distractions around them.

We all know there are lots of real-world situations in which asking parents to turn off the TV is insensitive. For example, the parent using TV as a tool for addiction recovery or the immigrant who uses the TV as their primary way to connect with their homeland.

However, this article asks for something very, very reasonable... "So instead of letting the TV run in the background after the kids open their toys this holiday, let's give another, less expensive gift: some uninterrupted time to play with them."

If you are working with that family who is just trying to get by day to day, this may be a good way to start the conversation about the impact of screen media on their child's behavior and development: Recommend that all screen media be off the first hour after opening presents to allow everyone to enjoy their gifts and each other. Next time you see the family, ask how it went.

The Best Gift to Give a Kid for Christmas by Lisa Guernsey, TIME Ideas
Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/12/04/the-best-kid-to-give-your-kid-for-christmas/#ixzz2E7OxzS1Q

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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