Media, Family Interaction and the Digitalization of Childhood
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Media, Family Interaction and the Digitalization of Childhood

Edited by Anja R. Lahikainen, Tiina Mälkiä and Katja Repo

This is a first-class repository of new knowledge on how media and family routines intertwine in daily interactions. The multi-method approach reveals how varying forms of media affect the interaction between children and their parents. Avoiding criticism of these interactions, the contributors instead offer an impartial view of the natural occurrences in media-related family life.
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Chapter 13: Commentary: the need for evidence-based parenting support

Peter Nikken


Parenting has become more worrisome nowadays because of the enormous number of media devices found in the home. On a daily basis, parents are confronted with questions of when and for how long children can use their media, what devices are appropriate for what age, and which types of content are beneficial and which may be harmful. In general, there is enough information and advice for parents – in particular on the Internet – but often such advice does not fully match the parents’ needs. Guidelines often focus on the amount of media use per day and the risks of media use. Less often do they communicate how to choose ‘good’ content and how to enjoy that content with children together. Moreover, advice is often directed at children or youth in general, not at children in a specific age bracket. Finally, most parenting support could benefit from the outcomes of child and media research.

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