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Raising Kids in the Digital Age

Hour 2:           How much are your kids sharing online? We’ll discuss strategies for helping kids navigate our screen-filled and media-saturated world successfully this hour with James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media and author of the new book “Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age” (Scribner, 2012).

  • Iva R

    I listened to your program today as I was driving to work.  Since I refuse to use my cellphone when Im driving, I couldnt call in.  But I take exception to some of the assertions Styer made.  Parents need to know what their children are playing.  They need to ok the games before they are ever purchased.  They need to watch while their child is playing.  THey need to see what the child is doing, what the game involves.  That being said, half an hour game time is totally unreasonable if youre playing some of the more challenging role play games.  If youre playing Grand Theft Auto then half an hour is fine.  If youre playing Medal of Honor or World of Warcraft or Halo,  parents should respect the kids right to finish an entire set of challenges.  Parents can also play WITH their kids.  When my sons were young we played Kings Quest on the computer, all three of us interacting and sorting out the puzzles, looking for clues.  We got a major kick out of it.  Later when we had our first Nintendo we took turns playing Tetris, Dr Mario, Puznik, Klax and others and we had a lot of fun doing it.  We’d have snacks, sodas, and pass the controls around.  Youve never played Tetris until you play it with a set of controls covered with popcorn butter!   Too often video games are how parents let ‘some one else’ baby sit their kids.   As for Facebook, I personally dont believe anyone under the age of 18 should have a page, and think kids who are young enough to still be in school should have track phones with limited minutes, should use that only for emergencies, and the cell phone should be turned off if the kid is home.  If the house doesnt have a land line then the amount of time the child can spend on the phone should be restricted.  Im amazed at how many parents simply cannot interact with their kids, cannot listen to and talk with their kids, and cannot set boundaries for their kids and yes, Im a parent and Im a grand parent. 

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