Parents need to establish limits, rules and routines. But above all, be present when our children are exposed to television programs, computer games, iPads, magazines and other media.
In this technological age, we live immersed in a reality crammed with mass media, so we can not hide them from them.
One way to filter the messages to which they are exposed is to develop in our children the ability to question, analyze, evaluate and reflect on these messages.
The media is one of the strongest and most profitable industries worldwide. Television, computers, tablets and smartphones in homes have become common objects like the blender or the washing machine. But not for this reason we must "normalize" them within our family context or think that they are harmless.
Due to their audiovisual complexity and the immediacy effect they represent, the media offers a wide variety of messages that can be both positive and negative. They may even have undesirable or inappropriate content for the age and maturity of our children.
One of the phenomena that these contents trigger - due to the consecutive exposure of children - is the automation of observed behaviors and attitudes. Unfortunately, the exhibition is so wide and open that they can find wrong information and interpret it as something normal, everyday and even adequate.
Remember that the way your children learn at an early age is through observation and imitation. For them, it could be natural to imitate a movie or television character and this is when you have to ask yourself: what do I want my children to learn or repeat?
One of the most frequent doubts among parents is related to fights or violence shown in the media, often used as a way to resolve conflicts.
In this case, children learn and repeat these attitudes instead of using dialogue or negotiation strategies to achieve self-control and conciliation.
Advertising can also influence negatively because it constantly uses techniques that encourage desire and the need to consume unconscionably.
Children, who do not yet have the capacity for analysis and reasoning, are strongly influenced, considering that the most important thing is to satisfy their consumer desires immediately.
How to control the impact of the mass media on your children?
It is important to educate your children to be able to analyze messages by:
- The game.
- The dialogue.
- The representation of papers.
- The invitation to reflection.
- Above all, moderate the exposure times.
- Teach your children that, for leisure time, there are many entertainment alternatives besides digital media.
Give them to know other activities. Make a list of appropriate games for your age, hand in hand with a schedule that helps them develop. In it you can include a sport of your liking, your obligations, homework, personal hygiene time, leisure time and, minimally, exposure to mass media such as television or internet.
In this way, you diminish the friction with your children in this respect since they will be previously agreed times.
Finally, we invite you to look for comprehensive educational options that are aware of this necessary balance between technology and family education, based on values and virtues.