Tuesday, March 18th, 2008@ 4:00PM
Has technology taken over our children’s lives? These are the average weekly numbers: five hours online, six hours on the phone, eight hours playing video games, 12 hours listening to music, 30 hours watching TV or movies. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, today five million kids are addicted to videogames.
In “Screen Addicts,” the latest half-hour television special from CWK Network, Connect with Kids, there are three compelling stories about technology out of control in the lives of young people:
· The lives of the four Delano children in California are defined by cell phones, MySpace, music downloads, instant messaging, television, and arguments about whose turn is next on the family computer.
· Joshua Kloyda first looked at a pornographic website at the age of 12 when he was with his friends. He says at first he went to sex websites a few times a month, and then weekly, “and then I needed it. Every day, I needed it. I don’t know, I craved it.”
· Daniel Gushue starting playing online poker on his 18th birthday and within a few weeks was $18,000 in debt and, in the end, lost his dream of becoming a doctor.
The half -hour program includes interviews with national experts about how parents can rein in kids spending their childhood on the phone and in front of a screen. Notable is Dr. Larry Rosen, author of “Me, MySpace and I, Parenting in the Net Generation,” who describes both effective and ineffective parenting styles. According to his research, what works best is what he calls authoritative parenting. “Every single variable we studied, ‘authoritative parenting’ leads to, or is related to, better kids. Better mental health, better use of the Internet, safer use of the Internet,” he says.
“Screen Addicts” is another Connect with Kids program that features true stories about real kids, parents, educators, and experts, which will inform and empower parents to help protect their children.