Young children and media

Young children and media

Young children and media

Date posted: September 13, 2013

Media and technology are large factors in everyday life. How do they affect parents and children?

A recently released American study, Parenting in a Digital Age: A National Survey, examined the influence of the technological boom on parents. What is it like to parent young children in an age where technology and media are increasingly mobile, accessible, and constantly available? The study found that technology is a tool that parents use, but it’s not their only strategy.

Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, another American parent survey, found that young children use digital media frequently. Some of the findings may surprise you.

So, does this exposure to media benefit or harm young children? Well, it depends on a number of factors. The following websites have some information and advice for parents, teachers, and other caregivers:

Early Learning in a Digital World contains resources prepared for parents of children aged 2 to 8 years, to help them understand the effective and appropriate use of technology with their children. Lots of good information here, from

Making Good Decisions: Media in the Lives of Young Children is a series of articles written for both professional educators and parents, and includes research summaries, practical tips for parents, and Internet resources for further information on media and its effects on children from birth to six. From the Extension Service of the University of Florida.

Screen Smart is a BC website that gives parents research-based information on how screen time affects their children. The Early Years page has a nice, concise listing of why screen time matters for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and what can be done at these ages to help. The community initiatives listed are for Revelstoke, the home base of this website, but similar services exist in many communities.

Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 is a joint position statement issued by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media.

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