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Sexting among Youngsters

The journal Pediatrics (from the American Academy of Pediatrics) has designed a website with recommendations for parents about their childrens’ use of social media and monitoring use. 

Because the issue of sexting has become a concern to parents, communities and legal authorities, we felt that a specific set of recommendations should be listed addressing this important issue. This blog report is from that AAP web site:

“Sexting” refers to sending a text message with pictures of children or teens that are inappropriate, naked or engaged in sex acts.

According to a recent survey, about 20 percent of teen boys and girls have sent such messages. The emotional pain it causes can be enormous for the child in the picture as well as the sender and receiver--often with legal implications.

Social Media Among Kids and Families

This post is the first in a series on social media. The content comes directly from a land-mark article in the journal Pediatrics, a publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Engaging in various forms of social media is a routine activity that research has shown to benefit children and adolescents by enhancing communication, social connection, and even technical skills. Social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace offer multiple daily opportunities for connecting with friends, classmates, and people with shared interests. During the last 5 years, the number of preadolescents and adolescents using such sites has increased dramatically.

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Any House Rules on Media Make a Difference

Any media rules at home help reduce kids' media consumption by almost 3 hours per week.

Only about three in ten young people say they have rules about how much time they can spend watching TV (28%) or playing video games (30%), and 36% say the same about using the computer.

But when parents do set limits, children spend less time with media: those with any media rules consume nearly 3 hours less media per day than those with no rules.

PositiveTip: Set limits in your family about using media. It works!


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Parents: Your Home Needs Media Rules

Teens spend more than 53 hours per week using entertainment media!

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation offers some very useful information about media use in the home. They report that today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media during a typical day. That is more than 53 hours a week!

PositiveTip: Establish media rules for your home. Your kids will benefit by them!

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TV Watching May Make Your Kids Fat

Viewing television and computer use contribute to obesity in kids.

Watching television is very common among youth, as is computer use, and both of these are related to childhood obesity. The reason for this relationship seems to be two-fold: watching television not only takes away from time when kids would otherwise be physically active, but they also tend to snack while watching TV. Computer use and eating do not usually occur together, but excessive computer use also absorbs significant time when kids should be physically active.

PositiveTip: Observe when your kids usually watch television and use the computer--then plan a routine where you regularly walk or play with them at that time.

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Wow! Psychotherapy for the Depressed Online?

Instant messaging of therapy for depressed patients yields surprisingly good results.

Can Internet psychotherapy for depression benefit patients? A randomized, controlled trial conducted in Britain of cognitive-behavorial therapy delivered online in real time to depressed patients resulted in 42% recovery compared to 26% recovery in the traditional treatment group. This method of delivery could broaden access and improve drop-out rates.