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New Data about Kids and Media

Several days ago the LA Times reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation study that showed kids are now averaging 53 hours per week in digital media, including TV, video games, cell phone, computer, etc. This does not include when kids are multitasking—perhaps using their phone and watching TV at the same time. When factoring those numbers, the usage jumps to about 75 hours per week—an astounding number.

The most interesting fact presented was the impact of parental oversight. When parents engage, set boundaries, and train their children, those same kids averaged 3 hours less per day—21 hours less in a week. That’s a pretty powerful difference.

God’s Word teaches us in Proverbs 29:15, “…a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” The clarion call to parents in the midst of such a media saturated society is “train the children!” So many parents literally leave their children to themselves, turning them over to a reckless onslaught of harmful content coming from multiple directions. Kids left to themselves just don’t know what to do with this.

Removing all devices from our children’s reach is not the answer—that merely condemns them to eventual temptation and perhaps failure. How we must engage as parents—set limits, teach values, provide oversight, manage accountability, and train our children how to guard their hearts. If you allow it, you must understand it, manage it, and train your children how to honorably and biblically use the tools of the day.

Are your kids spending the equivalent of a full-time job using media? If so, it’s time to re-engage as a parent! Someday they will thank you for expressing such courageous love.

You can read the full LA Times article here: LA Times Story—Young People Spend 7hrs. 38 minutes on TV, Video Games, and Computer.

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