Sunday, June 17, 2018

Other Types of Technology And Children

Computer, smart phones and the internet all offer in interactive media through a varied range of learning, entertainment and communication. When a parent is considering technology and the use their children have of it, it's necessary to consider the use of computers since it's one of the most popular media that children use to interact with each day. Computers have become more common in children's lives over the past decade and it's important for parents to know what their children are doing on the computer. As soon as children can read and write they begin to use a computer for word processing. This helps children write freely and experiment with different letters and words without erasing or crossing out what they don't like. As children get older they use the computer to do homework, research projects, and papers. Children can encounter racial slurs, pornography and cyber bullying when using a computer. When parent's don't know what their children are doing online they can get into chat rooms and have relationships with people which can cause a child to be sexually abused particularly if they meet the person face to face without the parents knowing which is often the case. This is why it's important for parents to know what children are doing while on the computer and to set up blocks on certain sites.

A disadvantage to smart phones and other technology is that they cause distractions in face to face interactions and are making it easier for children to not develop or use communication skills that are important to have when they get to the age of their first job. Video games can be filled with aggression and gender stereotyping . This is a reason video games are now rated.  Exposure to violent video games can make children  more aggressive  and less caring. The discovery that this occurs with exposure to video games is consistent and doesn't  differ with age, gender or cultural  upbringing. Video games don't give children the opportunity for independent thought or creativity and can cause  children to confuse reality with fantasy. There are positive aspects to video games such as enhancing spatial thinking skills, improve problem solving and the use of fine motor skills.

Regardless of the types of media and technology parents have in their homes it's important for parents to know and be informed of what their children are doing with technology and what forms of media they are watching.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Types of Media and Children

Screen Media is television or movies. Studies have found that the more preschoolers and school aged children watch prime time TV shows and cartoons the less time they spend reading and interacting with others. TV shows and movies that children watch may have ethnic or gender stereotypes that adults need to be aware of. Educational programs for children are sensitive to issues of equality and diversity but commercial entertainment programs can convey ethnic  and gender stereotypes. When minorities appear in adult shows they are more likely to be put across as secondary characters and have lower status roles such as unskilled workers or law breakers which teaches stereotypes. There are shows such as Blackish which are starting to break these stereotypes.

Print media is books, magazines etc. Introduction to these is influenced by the status of the family and the educational level of the parents. There is a relationship between education, income, and the value placed on the purchase of books and other reading material. The more educated the parents, the greater the income is, which can lead to attention on what printed media is purchased and therefore that children are exposed to. Some claim printed media is the primary way information about education, religion and government is passed from one generation to the next.

Audio media is any media channel that uses audio files such as music, audio books, or podcasts. Children use music in an effort to control and communicate their moods. Children as young as eight months can tell the difference between happy and sad music. This fact reaffirms the allegation that music has the ability to communicate emotion and influence mood. Lyrics to music has the ability to influence behaviors. Listening to songs can increase pro-social thoughts, increase empathy, and foster helping others.

Where these types of media influence children, their thoughts and how they react to different situations it is important for parents to know what children are listing to, watching and the lessons that are being taught through these types of media and be aware of the messages being sent.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Media and Children

Media is a type of communication that fosters a specific effect or action. Mass media is a type of communication that impacts a large number of people with the intent of delivering a message through an impersonal condition. Media and the mass media use the latest technology and their connection with life, society and the environment to influence our children.

Extensive television  watching has been identified  with family and friend difficulties. Children use the TV as a way to avoid interaction and can happen when parents are stressed. Children can  use TV viewing as a way to escape. The most obvious way parents impact the media's influence on their children is by identifying and monitoring viewing habits. It's been found that parents are somewhat uninvolved with what their children are viewing and even when they are involved the level of involvement can be sporadic.

Parents are gatekeepers of their children's viewing habits. For this reason parents should consider setting rules for and monitoring the programs and movies their children watch. Parents should sit and watch with their children the shows their children watch because this can help children understand and interpret TV programs and movies they watch. The amount of time children spend watching TV can affect their socialization depending on the types of shows they watch. If children watch educational shows it can help them learn new concepts. Shows such as Sesame Street were created to foster children's learning. If children are watching for entertainment  it can strengthen stereotypes. Parents should consider the role of TV as it applies to academic learning. TV has the potential for building  and strengthening  academic skills. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Moral Development In Children

Moral development happens when a child needs to evaluate different beliefs and values and choose which set of rules they'll follow. Sometimes parents try to present their child with the correct choice rather than having the child learn the consequences of their choices. This can impact the child's ability to make decisions when the parent isn't around to provide guidance. Parents who let their children make their own choices  but remove negative  consequences rather than following through with punishment manifest how children are presented with opportunities to resolve moral conflicts and learn appropriate moral responses through experiences.

Moral development helps children develop their own attitudes and values. Parents who allow their children to make their own choices but remove negative  consequences  prevent their children from moral development because they don't follow through with any consequence. It hinders moral development because the child is being told what's right and wrong. For example, if a child chooses  to lie about doing their homework and there isn't a consequence for not doing their homework children learn there is nothing right or wrong about lying about not doing their homework and no moral lesson is taught or learned. The opportunity for the child to learn what an appropriate moral response to lying is not presented and the moral dilemma of whether lying is right or wrong isn't resolved.

Moral development is an important  concept because it applies to the conditions of relationships with peers. Pro-social development progresses through the ongoing productive interactions between children and their parent's, sibling's, friends and culture. The give and take feature of social influence motivates the complex process shaping social and emotional development in childhood. Parents can use inductive reasoning to inform children of norms and principles to explain the effects of children's actions. This will help a child when they get stuck in one way of looking at a situation and help them see other possibilities. Explaining consequences of a person's actions improves children's reasoning skills. When children misbehave parents should explain why their actions were hurtful to others so children can understand consequences of their behavior.

Values are qualities or beliefs that are viewed as desirable or important. Infants and toddlers learn values through interactions they have with family, caregivers and other children they're exposed to. The development of values happens in a social setting. Children interact with other people in their environment and as they do so attitudes are gained through the socialization process. Attitudes can be learned through instruction or modeling. For example, an attitude can be learned through instruction when a parent tells a child to behave a certain way, "Go tell your sibling to hurry before I leave them here." Attitudes can be modeled by an older sibling talking back to the parents and then the younger siblings doing the action as well.

A child's value and belief system steadily develops as children resolve discrepancies in competing beliefs and values. Values are influenced by various factors and often reflect the values of the parents, teachers, religion, culture and friends of children. Age, experiences and cognitive development impact the values children come to hold. Attitudes and values are different for each family. As parents instill in their children the attitudes and values they have their children will  form the same attitudes and values or shape their own using their parents as a foundation. Teaching attitudes and values can be tricky but it's important for parents to remember, understand and respect that children will develop their own attitudes and values as they grow.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Four Factors That Influence Attitudes and Beliefs of School Aged Children

Factor that influence the development of attitudes and beliefs in school aged children are: family, peers, mass media and school community. Family members are the people who children spend the most time with and have the most influence on attitudes of children. Children's attitudes toward academic achievement, physical activity, and risk taking are all influenced by parents. For example, if a parent doesn't care about what kind of grades a child receives as long as they're passing, the child may learn not to value education. If a parent lets a child eat whatever they want with no thought tow whether or not it's healthy, a child won't be careful about what kinds of food they eat.

Peers and a child's circle of friends have a large influence on children's attitudes and beliefs. Children spend a majority of their day with peers and friends and therefore attitudes and beliefs of this group impact children's attitudes and beliefs. Children have a tendency to compare their behavior with behavior of friends. They understand the difference between classmates within the in-group and out-group. Peer influences increase as children get older which is why it's important for children to be part of a group that accepts them as equals.

Mass media affects children's attitudes and beliefs and they are flooded with messages  daily which cause a child to change their attitudes and beliefs to reflect the message they see and hear on TV, radio and print. Video games can effect attitudes and beliefs and what messages these send depend on the types of video games children play.

School community can develop attitudes and beliefs because of gender roles and stereotyping that can happen in schools. For example, if  a school makes it a requirement for girls to take a class on cooking and sewing and not boys the school has taught these skills are only for girls. If a school requires boys to take a class on Technology but doesn't require girls to, the school has taught these skills are only for boys.

It is important to be careful of the messages we send children through the attitudes we teach and show by example and the beliefs we share with them. We also remember we need to remember beliefs and attitudes come from other places other than home to discuss why a behavior may not be good or a belief is different from ours while also teaching our children those beliefs are just different from ones we may have but that doesn't make them wrong.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Helping Children Learn How to Recognize Difference Between Opinion and Fact

Logic is the study of reasoning and examines the structure and content of arguments. Logic helps describe various types of arguments and evaluates why good arguments work and bad ones fail. Some people use dogmatism to state their position. Dogmatism is of course when a person claims their opinion to be true. There is a difference between opinion and fact. An opinion is a belief based on what someone thinks to be true or likely. A fact is something that has actually happened or that is really true and reality.

A fallacy is a mistake in reasoning. There are around 23 fallacies a person can use when making an argument. The begging the question fallacy is when a person commits a mistake in reasoning by assuming what one seeks to prove. For example, everyone wants the latest iphone when it comes out because it is the hottest phone of the season. This is a fallacy and an example of begging the question because there are some people who don't like or use iphones. Another type of fallacy is the argument of scare tactics. This fallacy is used to play on a person's fears in order to get the person to do something or believe something to be true. For example, if a dad tells a guy to leave his daughter alone and to let her believe he doesn't care about her or he as the dad will do something to either the guy or his daughter-whatever the threat may be to get the guy to leave his daughter alone- the dad has played on the fears of the guy in order to get him to leave his daughter alone and the guy has believed the dad will do whatever the dad has threatened to do.

There are other forms of fallacies such as scapegoating, the red herring and many more. Regardless of what fallacy a person uses the fallacy uses informal logic which is why these are never true. However, because children's brains are still developing, they can be influenced to believe the generalizations that fallacies use when people use them to prove their claim. When fallacies are used, the claims are usually false and cannot be proven. Children need guidance from adults to consider whether a claim is true or whether they can actually do legally what they claim they will do.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Middle School Aged Children and Cognitive Abilities

Hi everyone,
I'm back. Sorry it was such a long break. I finally have a new computer and can get back to posting again. So let's just dive right back in and start off where we left off. Last post we discussed children and motivation. Now lets discuss cognitive abilities.

Middle school is considered to be between the ages of six and eleven or twelve. It's a time that's filled with transitions but most particularly cognitive abilities. The progress children make in their cognitive abilities affects their attitudes and beliefs. A cognitive area that develops to help children is spatial thinking. When children are encouraged and taught to sharpen their skills in analyzing problems and recognizing spatial relationships, parents can help children develop positive, confident attitudes. Spatial thinking is a child's ability to see pictures of words. It's a child's ability to participate in problem solving and use pattern recognition using objects and spatial relationships. For example, being able to use spatial thinking to parallel park.

Another way children grow in cognitive abilities that helps children progress in attitudes and beliefs is cause and effect thinking. Cause and effect thinking indicates a child's ability to understand the sequences of events as they pertain to logical order. For example, if you don't brush your teeth you get cavities. The ability to think problems through in a way that moves a situation forward is important in influencing a child's attitudes and beliefs. Children need to be  able to internally process the consequences of their actions based on what they identify to be right or wrong and act appropriately. When children work through this stage, parents and other members of their micro-system can help them talk it through in order to better prepare them for the future.

Parents need to be aware that cognitive development has the potential to cause children to generalize attitudes and beliefs in ways that may not be true. Racial and gender issues come into play when this happens because cultural messages from outside environments and a child's community may be persuading children that generalizations are true.  Some people use informal logic to make their arguments which can confuse a child. Logic is the study of reasoning and examines the structure and content of arguments. Logic helps describe various types of arguments and evaluates why good arguments work and bad ones fail.  In the next post we'll discuss logic, and informal logic and how to tell the difference.