Television Viewing Tips for Parents

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Suggestions From Sam Reich-Dagnen, CEO of Award-Winning Children's Media Company Braincandy, and Renowned Pediatrician, Dr. Larry Wolk

Braincandy, creator of award-winning digital content for the early-learning market, along with Dr. Larry Wolk, a pediatrician and expert in the field of early childhood development, today released five tips to help parents navigate the world of digital media with their kids.

"We believe that when it comes to parenting, there are as many methods as there are parents," said Sam Reich-Dagnen, co-founder and CEO of Braincandy. "The bottom line for determining how often, what and when a child watches TV or any other digital media is very personal. We support the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation that television viewing should not be the first choice for activity in children under the age of two. However, we further believe that the reality of today's typical American family includes a television set in the home, so it's important to have guidelines."

With that in mind, Braincandy and Dr. Wolk have created the following tips for responsible television viewing.

1. Set viewing parameters. Consider time, location and content to give kids boundaries for the when, where and what. These guidelines will produce consistency in viewing and can limit, if not eliminate debates on when the video, computer or TV gets turned off.

2. Search out good controlled content. DVDs and videos can be reviewed by you ahead of time to make sure the content is appropriate. Then as your children watch, the video can be paused or stopped to demonstrate a lesson or facilitate communication. It is also free of commercials and news breaks--both of which raise many challenges with young children.

3. Select content that fosters development of the whole child. Learning the ABCs and 123s are important, but so is setting positive examples for young children to develop socially and emotionally. Exposing young children to content that helps them develop their creative and independent thinking skills is central to their becoming life-long learners.

4. Ensure age-appropriateness. Before watching with your child, review the pacing of the editing. Is it is slow, deliberate and repetitive? Is the content engaging and interactive? It is obvious that you should avoid content with strong language or violence. As a parent you usually know what is right--go with your gut and trust it.

5. Watch with your child. While a video or television programming often affords the chance for a quick phone call or the opportunity to shoot off an email or two, best efforts should be made to enjoy the programming with your little one. They'll get more out of it and so will you.

About the Authors

Sam Reich-Dagnen serves as CEO of Braincandy, a children's products company that develops educational and entertaining DVDs. The newest episodes illustrate how the five senses work through a cast of real kids and plush characters who engage and amuse viewers of all ages. Parents and care givers can learn more at http://www.braincandykids.com. Dr. Larry Wolk is a Denver pediatrician who also directs Rocky Mountain Youth, the non-profit organization he founded to provide medical services to uninsured and at-risk children in Colorado.

About Braincandy

Braincandy is an award-winning children's products company offering enriching, entertaining DVDs, music CDs and will soon be expanding into books, toys, plush, apparel and more. Backed by pediatricians, children's media experts and parents everywhere, Braincandy products are designed to help very young children learn to think more creatively through exploration, experimentation and play. Braincandy products are currently available in Borders, specialty retail stores, children's museums and science centers, major online retailers and on-demand from cable carriers Comcast and Cox in the U.S. and Rogers and Shaw Communications in Canada. Braincandy is distributed by Rhino Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group.

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