PARENTING & Multiple research confirms the danger of too much of the wrong type of screen time.

“Screen Time Guilt During the Pandemic?” by Laura Wheatman Hull, JSTOR Daily, 9/10/20.

Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education by Lindsay Daugherty, Rafiq Dossani, Erin-Elizabeth Johnson and Cameron Wright, outlines some of the “potential pitfalls” of screen time. Research indicates that “technology use in ECE may have a negative effect on the development of social and gross motor skills, contribute to obesity, and diminish skill development in areas beyond digital literacy.” Too much passive screen time is harmful for little kids’ development.

Regarding teenagers, the headline of an article from the 2015 British Medical Journal by Nigel Hawkes says it all, “Every hour of daily screen time knocks two grades off teenagers’ exam time, study shows.” We want our kids to be smart, to perform well, so limiting screen time seems an easy way to do it. Go outside, read a book, problem solve with peers, do hands-on projects. “Experiential learning” is an expression used often in education, especially at the middle school level. Getting into the world to learn something is more effective than watching a show about it, no doubt.Memes glibly tease parents who rely on screens, telling them that the best thing kids can do right now is pick up a book.

…Yet, pediatricians are STILL urging parents to avoid too much media. A news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics came out at the beginning of the shut downs on March 17, 2020. It is entitled, “Finding Ways to Keep Children Occupied During These Challenging Times” and the main thesis is that parents should find “creative ways” (read: screen-free) to keep kids busy. They say, “the AAP urges parents to preserve offline experiences.” Memes glibly tease parents who rely on screens, telling them that the best thing kids can do right now is pick up a book. The AAP article does acknowledge that “kids’ screen media time will likely increase,” but wants parents to monitor content closely and try to make the content as meaningful as possible. Sounds lovely, but parents may be overwhelmed with trying to manage media and everything else. More likely, parents are letting go of strict screen-time rules and feeling guilty about it.

If history reminds us that, once upon a time, people believed reading books was a bad habit, history will perhaps see “screen time” the same way in future generations. Anna North imagines, “In 50 years, maybe we’ll be lamenting our failure to read enough Internet.” In Moving Beyond Screen Time, the authors explain that digital literacy is an important skill. They say it “plays an important role in the child’s ability to exceed in school and beyond.” The authors argue that it’s not how much screen time a child receives, but what kind. Focused, educational screen time, whether it be shows, apps, or games, is beneficial to kids’ knowledge base and ability to succeed in a technology-driven world.

…Instead of asking parents to, as the AAP says, “Consider what offline activities are enjoyable for your family. Help other families by sharing those ideas,” pediatricians and teachers should focus on helping educate parents on where to turn to get quality screen time. Several school districts got access to apps such as ABCMouse, DreamBox, and Lexia to help students learn through playing video games during distance learning. Furthermore, turning on a fairy tale movie for your kid while you have a Zoom meeting is fine. Parents should let go of the pressure to print worksheets and be a teacher while they’re also doing whatever else it is they do as an adult. Even better than turning on a movie and letting go of the guilt is if parents talk about what the kids watched. Talk about story structure, morality, characters. Talk about artistic style, acting skills, and music. Film as literature is a legitimate form of education. Digital literacy is a valid form of literacy.

Read more at … https://daily.jstor.org/screen-time-guilt-during-the-pandemic/

PARENTING & Bending without breaking: What new research is saying about effective religious parenting strategies = balance + faith. #ARDA

by David Briggs, The Association of Religious Data Archives, 3/12/19.

“…Religious firmness integrated with religious flexibility is more likely to result in a balanced, healthy style of religious parenting,” concluded scholars analyzing more than 8,000 pages of in-depth interviews with 198 Christian, Jewish and Muslim couples from 17 states.

A great deal of research has shown parents’ faith can have a positive impact on their children in areas from mental health to developing healthy relationships to being less likely to smoke, take illegal drugs or abuse alcohol.

Some examples from the new research include:

Secrets and lies: Researchers analyzing data from the second wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion found that adolescents who attend religious services more often are less likely to keep secrets from parents. Further, youth who believe that religion is important are both less likely to lie to parents and keep secrets from parents. Key reasons: More religious adolescents were less likely to use alcohol, to have peers who use drugs or drink heavily and to have lower standards of morality – all factors in the likelihood of lying and keeping secrets.

Sex, faith and college students: A study of undergrads at a large public university in the mid-Atlantic suggested that students from families that were likely to pray and talk about their faith together were less likely to have had sex. Greater parental oversight was associated with a decreased likelihood of ever having unprotected sex. And students who were more religious had a lower likelihood of engaging in any sexual activity, and a higher likelihood of condom use when they did. 

Daddy’s home: A study analyzing data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study found evidence suggesting that taking paternity leave, and longer periods of leave, is linked to more frequent father involvement and lower parental conflict among fathers who attend religious services frequently. Fathers who take leave and attend religious services weekly engage with their child about one-half day per week more frequently than fathers who do not take leave.

But not all the outcomes are positive.

Read more at … http://blogs.thearda.com/trend/uncategorized/bending-without-breaking-what-new-research-is-saying-about-effective-religious-parenting-strategies/

RELIGION & The potential benefits of personal religiousness according to science. #BostonUniversity

… The potential benefits associated with personal religiousness have been well-documented. They may include less drug, alcohol, and tobacco use; lower rates of depression and suicide; better sleep quality; and greater hopefulness and life satisfaction. A 2001 study showed that personal religious belief and practice act as a buffer against stress and the negative effects of trauma among first- and second-generation immigrant youth, and reduces the rates of depression among that population. Another study linked higher rates of religious service attendance with better test scores among US girls in the South, pointing to an emerging consensus on “the generally positive role of religious practice on education,” according to a 2003 Boston University study.

From “Should you raise your kids religious? Here’s what the science says” by Annabelle Timsit, August 5, 2018, Quartz.

Read more at … https://qz.com/1301084/should-you-raise-your-kids-religious-heres-what-the-science-says/

SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT & The Effects Of Income Inequality Start While You’re In The Womb

by Jessica Lerner, Fast Company Magazine, 5/22/14

FAMILY & Does Having Children Make Parents More Active Churchgoers?

Does Having Children Make Parents More Active Churchgoers?
by The Barna Group, 5/4/10

“How does having a child change a parent’s level of church involvement?”  This question was explored in a new research study, conducted by the Barna Group in partnership with Orange, a division of the reThink Group. The nationwide study conducted among nearly 700 parents of children under the age of 18 asked respondents to describe how having children affected their connection to a church or faith community.

05-24-2010-piechart.jpg

Read more at … https://www.barna.org/family-kids-articles/391-does-having-children-make-parents-more-active-churchgoers