AMA Recommends: Keep Kids Under 2 Away From Electronic Media

AMA Recommends: Keep Kids Under 2 Away From Electronic Media

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Six major American medical associations — the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatricians, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association — all recommend the same action item to parents: no electronic media at all for children who are under years old, and for children who are above two, to limit it very strictly. See this book excerpt for more details.

Although we have not seen the studies on which the recommendations are based, it is noteworthy that the recommendation is so strong, and so consistent.

The quoted book also notes that the average American child spends three hours per day using electronic media.

Personally, this is one rule that I’m following very strictly with my baby. Although he seems to be the only baby in his playgroup who doesn’t know how to use an iPad!

Not Data: Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent

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Although this is an N=1 data point, it is notable that those who know the most about tech, tend to raise their children in low-tech environments. Take Steve Jobs, for example:

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

Read the whole thing.

CEO of PIMCO Steps Down… Because He Missed Too Many of His Daughter’s Milestones

CEO of PIMCO Steps Down… Because He Missed Too Many of His Daughter’s Milestones

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This isn’t data-driven, but it’s a powerful moment. The CEO of one of the wealthiest companies steps down because his daughter pointed out how many of his milestones he’s missed. You can read his letter here:

About a year ago, I asked my daughter several times to do something—brush her teeth, I think it was—with no success. I reminded her that it was not so long ago that she would have immediately responded, and I wouldn’t have had to ask her multiple times; she would have known from my tone of voice that I was serious. She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call. The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t yet over.

Un-Slumping Yourself is Not Easily Done: Dr Seuss For Your Children… And For Founders.

Un-Slumping Yourself is Not Easily Done: Dr Seuss For Your Children… And For Founders.

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Some entrepreneurs read Steve Blank for guidance. Others, Peter Drucker. Still others, Clay Christensen. And the list goes on.

I, however, read Dr Seuss. In particular, Oh, the Places you’ll go.

The best children’s literature isn’t the happy-go-lucky, everyone’s smiling and being perfect stories. The best children’s literature, in my experience, speaks to the dark depths of the human experience. It’s not a coincidence that, when you read the classic children’s tales that are still with us since ancient and medieval times, that the messages are actually quite dark. The Big Bad Wolf eating children? The princess trying to kill the frog prince by throwing him against the wall? The timeless children’s books, in other words, present the world as it is: ugly, scary, and dangerous. Nasty, brutish, and short.

I was surprised, and moved, to discover this as a truth even of the great modern children’s literature. Take Oh, the Places you’ll go. I remembered it as a high school graduation gift, inspiring me to soar to great heights — the world is open and I can do anything. (Oh, funny how time limits options: every day I have fewer options than the day before. In Greek mythology, Chronos, after all, was a monster who ate his own children… and also “time.”)

But re-reading the book now, to my son, the other side stood out, the dark side:

Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true, that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

And it goes on to explore the depths of not achieving your goals, of the pain that will happen merely trying for goals — as small and as big as they may be.

But he then goes into exquisite detail, on how painful the dark places are: “You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.” And later on, on how you’ll be all alone, with the world conspiring against you. Or so it seems. And then another section emphasizes how you’ll have to spend a lot of time alone, to fight the demons.

But he makes it a few levels more subtle. What is this dark place like? He characterizes it as, “The Waiting Place.” This is the dark place where everyone is “waiting for the fish to bite, or waiting for the wind to fly a kite, or waiting around for Friday night, or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil, or a Better Break, or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants, or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.”

And he explores how difficult, even painful, it is to get out of the dark place: “And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”

All this sounds like advice that each new entrepreneur needs to hear.

Too often, the new entrepreneur doesn’t realize how dark and lonely the journey will be. He then gives up, too early.

Too often, the new entrepreneur doesn’t realize that he’s sitting around waiting for something to happen — when really, that’s part of the hell he needs to escape, and he needs to make things happen himself. (If only it were as easily said as done!).

I say we start a new tradition. Forget giving this book to people upon their graduation. No, it should be given upon their start. Next time a friend tells you he’s going to start his own company, you should get him this book as a gift.

This article is by Morgan + Nathan from Team DataParenting.