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Screen Time: How Electronic Media--From Baby Videos to Educational Software--Affects Your Young Child Paperback – March 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465029809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465029808
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A science journalist and mother of two, Guernsey manages to extricate straightforward information and guidelines from the morass of research, articles and debates on screen media and child brain development. Easily digestible chapters are smartly structured around 12 pervasive concerns of interviewees from all walks of life. Guernsey explains how parents can shrewdly navigate a TV, DVD and video game market that has only begun developing its potential, much like the minds of the children it targets. Wisely sticking to manageable and legitimate solutions suitable for parents who don't see abstention as an option, Guernsey encourages parents to balance TV-watching with creative play and parent-child bonding time. The three Cs approach—considering content, context and child when making decisions about media-watching—is easily understood and adaptable to any family situation. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"...balanced, lucid ...a worthwhile book...Relying on dozens of scientific studies Ms. Guernsey explores the intricacies of trying to unpick the complicated weave of what goes on inside the head of a 1 - 2 year-old child crouched before a glowing screen." -- Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2007

"...fascinating and terrific new book...Guernsey doesn't take sides, but she raises more than enough questions (and thoughtful and lived solutions) that by the end of this informative, personable book I was glad to defer, once again, to my wife's good judgment in keeping the idiot box far from my daughters wandering eyes." -- New York Post, September 16, 2007

"As a parent of two young TV-watching girls, this former New York Times reporter attacks established myths, alleviates paranoia and finds a common-sense solution for how much television, if any, kids should watch." -- St. Petersburgh SunTimes, September 30, 2007

"Journalist and mother Lisa Guernsey probes the powerful effects of video and TV on the developing mind. Brilliantly researched and engagingly written, Into the Minds of Babes answers the question that pediatricians, parents, and producers have wanted to know...will early childhood media create a new generation of baby Einsteins or baby zombies?" -- Neil Izenberg, M.D., FAAP, Pediatrician and Editor-in-Chief, KidsHealth.org

"Research can be confusing and contradictory yet this book is anything but. Distilling what we know about young children and media while sharing her experiences as a parent, Guernsey is an able guide." -- Shelley Pasnik, Director, Center for Children and Technology

"This is a wonderfully accessible book. Lisa Guernsey has offered a well reasoned explanation of the evidence on young children and media." -- Ellen Wartella, Professor, Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost, University of California at Riverside

"A gift to parents..." -- Television Quarterly magazine, Winter 2008 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lisa Guernsey is a national education, technology and science writer who has worked at the Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times. In 2009, she became a senior policy analyst at New America Foundation, a think tank and incubator for explanatory and investigative journalism. She focuses on early education and is a regular contributor to the Early Ed Watch blog. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Alexandria, Va.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I read this book quickly because I couldn't put it down.
Rick Toone
Guernsey does an excellent job of summarizing the current research out there and providing real-world, commonsense solutions that parents can apply.
Anonymous
I highly recommend this book for parents, educators, and all those involved with young children.
E.N.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Dillow on September 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Most of the mothers I know are aware of the somewhat draconian guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatricians regarding children under 2 and TV-watching (don't let them, ever) and turn on Sesame Street anyway, fighting the urge to look over their shoulder to see which AAP spy is waiting to catch them and call "bad mama!" Lisa Guernsey's book gets to the bottom of the multitude of studies conducted on the effects of TV/media and children, explaining the most recent scholarly research in non-patronizing ways. By addressing some of the most debated/unresolved fears parents have when it comes to TV, she provides a practical guide to good decision making about media use and a wildly fascinating look at how young children develop cognitively, all without being boring.

Which, of course, is a huge plus, wouldn't you say?

Highly recommended to anyone who wonders about the effect of TV--you might be surprised by her findings!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Perkins on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book very helpful in sorting out all of the fragmented information I had about the effect of television on children. It was a quick read, and her writing style was engaging.

"Into the Minds of Babes" reinforced some of the choices I already am making about my daughter's TV time (Dragontales, Blue's Clues), and made me rethink others (Shrek, Finding Nemo). It helped me to see the television from a kid's point of view and think about what messages my daughter is receiving from the shows she watches. It also reinforced what I already thought about the bad effects of "background TV".

I walked away from reading this book better informed and armed with a great deal of useful information for making good viewing choices in the future. I would recommend it to any parent or caregiver.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Storer on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
With two preschoolers, I'm always looking for practical advice to manage the chaos. This book was both interesting and comforting, with a "real world" perspective on what screen time means in the American family. The book has a thoughtful discussion of the brouhaha raised by the American Academy of Pediatrics pronouncement that children under 2 should have ZERO time in front of the television. The intriguing result of Guernsey's research? The AAP made the pronouncement with no scientific basis, just the thought that eliminating screen time was bound to increase beneficial interactive time between parents/caregivers and children. Definitely worth a read by parents of young children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diana M. Thomas on June 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was first of all interesting and I read it cover to cover in spite of being exhausted (I have 3 small kids). I always felt guilty letting my children watch television, but this book had a wealth of information explaining that its not black and white. Now I'm very careful what I let my daughters watch but less anxious about how much they watch as long as they do not forgo playing outside when the opportunity arises. The best part of this book was the description on the lack of evidence on the connection between ADHD and television viewing. It eased my mind that I'm not destroying their future by letting them watch Dora or Dragontales and in fact may be even helping them educationally and socially. I also was struck by the lack of effect television has on pre-6 month olds. The book made me examine critically what media in general my children are ready for. Is my daughter really ready for computer games?

I obviously loved this book and I bought this book for my sons teacher as a gift since she has a new baby.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rick Toone on April 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book quickly because I couldn't put it down. The research and thought that went into this book are tremendous. It is well organized and unbiased. Maybe the title for this post should be "if you want to tell others how bad TV is, read this book first". The research shows that parents need to parent their kids and take responsibility for kids and their own actions. Yes, some TV is bad, but you wouldn't let your kid listen to Howard on the radio would you? Yes, some TV is good - I won't go into details but given your parental intelligence you know what choices are correct. What Ms. Guernsey does though is break down shows and types of shows for specific age groups and she provides some enlightening insights on how some shows were developed. I recommend anyone who is a parent or works in the children's world read this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Jones on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Guernsey tackles the research, warnings, and well meaning 'advice' that parents are baraged with and presents the findings in a format that is a great mixture of research (fully annotated for those who want to delve deeper) and personal experiences of real parents.

Her writing style makes the book a joy to read, as you follow Ms. Guernsey through her journey to find answers. This is not simply another parenting book that espouses a particular path, rather it provides the tools for parents to make educated decisions.

As a busy parent, make the time to read this fascinating book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E.N. on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Into the Minds of Babes is a highly readable book that impresses with its lack of judgement (on a very controversial topic!) and clear information. Guernsey is able to take complicated research studies and break them down in a straightforward presentation of the facts. The author also does a great job of giving information that helps make good choices about tv without being preachy. I highly recommend this book for parents, educators, and all those involved with young children.
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