Parenting In A Media Saturated World

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Parenting In A Media Saturated World | Are you sick of parenting in a world where media takes over your child's life? Solutions available. #podcast #homeschool #homeschoolpodcast #parenting #parentinginamediasaturatedworldParenting In A Media-Saturated World Episode 298

Parenting is tough but parenting in a media saturated world increases the difficulty level in spades! Parenting in a media-saturated world is definitely a love-hate relationship. I love my devices. It is easy to create a book using word processing and a computer. We can buy graphics online with a click of a button, and you can use apps to buy, read or listen to this podcast.

While I personally use the toys for convenience (think GPS) it doesn’t mean I like them and what they are doing to kids who are media saturated. In this podcast, I want to discuss some ways we can use media to our advantage without checking our humanity in at the door. Too strong? Maybe.

Parenting in a Media-Saturated World? Oh yes it is difficult!

Yes, we can use electronics and media in our homeschools but not to the detriment of books! Media today is small enough to carry in our pockets. My kids use it all the time to look up things, instantly. I refuse to use the automated voice on the phone to help me — and even when I told my children about a study that showed looking up information on your phone increases the chances that you will not remember the data because you don’t think it is necessary – it gives me pause – but not them. Their thinking is that you don’t need to know the information, you can just look it up!

Parenting with technology is a two-edged sword!

I found a study conducted in 2010 by the Japanese where they discussed some key elements of concern. The first was their country ranked number one in media usage when it comes to kids. They did a study on the child and parent relationship as well as how an overuse of media can effect the children physically as well as academically.

The conclusion to this paper was that media saturation caused kids to have underdeveloped muscles, such as leg muscles that were much weaker. This was reflected in the tendency to lose balance and fall. They also spoke about muscle strength in the torso, necessary for stamina. Poor eyesight and the underdeveloped stereo-vision was cited as something that is developed by playing outdoors. Underdeveloped autonomic nerves that regulate temperature and blood pressure as well as the five senses being at risk. Interestingly the study pointed out something that media overuse means less interaction with family and friends which results in immature communication skills.

Nothing we don’t already know! However another study went on to explain that brain abnormality was shown due to prolonged use – and truthfully this study was complex. The bottom line was pointing to an inability to control emotions, regulate desires, show empathy to others and anticipate needs.

I found another study that explained the time when media could do the most harm is during adolescence since this is a time of increased risk-taking.

I want to read you the following and you can find the adolescent study with a link on the VHM page- episode 298 – Parenting in a Media Saturated world. LINK HERE

The current way to demonstrate this IS excessive or unlimited self-disclosure or sexting! We all wonder what the heck kids think when they do this type of thing!

We all want to be socially accepted but when the kids deal with social media the importance becomes increased.

This is a great infographic that depicts usage.

Another graphic is from Common Sense Media here.

Kurt Cameron – Media Discernment   

Kurt Cameron – Media Discernment – 2

So, what can a parent do? Especially those of us who are so dependent on our devices?

I think the answer is clear – and it takes strength in parenting as well as a willingness to follow through.


    1. Educate yourself about social media and media overload.
    2. Family Rules. Limit screen time. Set parameters. Do you have family rules? Ours are simple. Do what we say while you are living here!
    3. Computer use in common family areas only.
    4. Have your kids tell you the dangers and consequences of social media, watching inappropriate shows, etc. Rule: Would you feel comfortable having Jesus watch whatever it is with you?
    5. A family “fast” from electronics – lead by example.
    6. Encourage outdoor activities, sports or hobbies that require movement.
    7. Compromise – video games, ugg – but I had to compromise with two of my sons who love them.
    8. Encourage family interaction. Game-day, board games, etc.
    9. Use your internet settings. Did you know you have power parents? You can set your kids phones, their devices and your wifi to turn off. If you don’t know how to, then search online!
    10. Trust is earned. When my teens would push back with our rules I would ask them to prove me wrong. For example, if I didn’t need to moderate screen time how long did they think they was “fair.” When they mentioned a length of time that I felt was acceptable I agreed.


  1. Don’t tell the kids to limit their time and you use your phone/ computer all the time.
  2. Don’t buy into the lies of brain building games. There is nothing like brain building with hands-on activities. Give your kids a bag of recyclables and watch the brain building begin!
  3. Don’t use electronic devices are not babysitters. If your little kids use them, sit with them.
  4. Don’t expect all your safety measures to work. Yes – we all need to use the internet for research, however, this needs to be monitored.

We each have to figure out what works for your family. I don’t think any of you listening uses media to babysit your kids. And, if you decide to go on a Kindle Spree like my daughter did, buying all of her children electronics with the thought of doing school or educational games and it backfires, be brave enough to parent. The kids no longer have access to these devices because they become discipline problems.

You have choices. There is a wonderful world outside to explore, there are books to read and there are things to create. Yes, sometimes we need to compromise. Sigh. But for me, it was when they were older teens – sixteen and up. I pray you to make the right choices and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

More Research – PEW Research – Info here on digital use

Bottom line and this is what I find disturbing, the main issues center around what makes us human. Media overload lends itself to lower empathy and social well being. It also allows kids to say what is on their mind without care because in a sense they are anonymous. In a face-to-face discussion, their comments would be tempered.

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