The year was 2001. John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia. "Can't Fight the Moonlight" was at the top of the charts. Big Kev was enthusing about washing powder on our CRT TVs. And 10-year-old Amanda was dreaming of a handheld, voice-activated computer.
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Touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets are now fixtures of many households, so it comes as little surprise to learn that young children who don't work or go to school are among their most active users. In the first study of its kind, researchers have learned that infants and toddlers who spend more time on these devices sleep less at night. It's a troubling finding, but the reasons for these sleep disruptions are still unclear.
Kaptain Kristian's latest explainer video is a fun one: he explains how the anapestic tetrameter rhyming style of Dr. Seuss helped us better understand language as kids, all while rhyming in the video himself. It's stupid catchy (obviously, because it's done in the style of Dr. Seuss) and so easy to listen to, which is the point because that catchiness and fun is basically a trick Dr. Seuss books used to make us all want to read on our own.
How much time should kids be allowed to stare into their screens like zombies? New guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics upturns conventional thinking on the matter, showing that a sweeping one-size-fits-all approach is not the right way for parents to go about limiting their children's screen time.
There's a common refrain among people of a certain age: "Wow, I'm really glad I wasn't a teenager in the age of smartphones and Snapchat." They're not wrong. After polling over 10,000 18-year-olds from 25 different countries, a new UNICEF study confirms that being a teen online these days is fraught with risk, danger and the potential for abuse.
The "NO SCREENS UNTIL 2" guideline issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011 has practically inscribed itself onto the foreheads of new parents. Now, the AAP says its position has "evolved," and released a more nuanced set of guidelines when it comes to babies and screen-based media.
This sounds extreme, but first let me ask: how many parents do you think actually keep track of their kids' screen time? If the TV is on but one of the children wanders out of the room, does that count? What if they're following along to a yoga video? What if the kid borrows mum's phone at dinner to ask Google what snails eat?
One of my most vivid childhood memories is of a county park behind our house which was so vast to my eight-year-old mind that it might as well have been the Arctic tundra. We were constructing some kind of vine-swing over a creek, which I believe we planned to test on bikes. There were no parents anywhere.
Before you stick the No Fun Federation of Parenting onto Jorge Tirado, an awesome dad and surfer, just look at how much fun his nine-month-old baby who was apparently born for the thirst of the ocean is having. And just think about how awesome he's going to be when he grows up after having such crazy experiences.
The public service announcement is emotionally manipulative and strategically pulls at the most basic things everyone likes (cute kids! young love!) and might even be scripted and is definitely edited nicely but still, the message is something that even children know to be true: Domestic violence is not OK.
Here's a cute video that I hope turns into an entire series: imagining what's inside a kid's, well, imagination. The video starts off with the toddler waving a stick as he runs around (as kids tend to do) and then transforms into a level of Super Mario Bros. Being a kid is awesome. We just see the stick, they see another world.
As much as parents want to protect their kids, it's damn near impossible today to totally block access to the internet. Google is moving forward with plans to create child-friendly versions of its most popular products to help kids under 12 go online safely.