Why Mister Rogers Is Still a Children’s Media Pioneer in 2014

Those of us raised on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” may not have known that Fred Rogers was a child development expert, a composer and lyricist, a TV producer, and an ordained minister. Actually, we didn’t need to know all that. Because what was apparent to every child who tuned in day after day to sing along with him or to watch the...

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Technology and Family Life

“How do you handle screen time—iPads, iPhones, computers—with your kids? Do you have rules?” The 92 Street Y posed this question to readers on Facebook in preparation for its recent conference on parenting. I know many of you probably do have rules, and if you’re reading our blog, you have probably thought about this quite a bit before. That technology is...

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What Parents and Care Providers Need to Know When Choosing Tech For Young Children

Experts in media and young children agree; how the youngest children use technology—ideally, with caregivers and with an eye on their learning and development—is more important than how old they are when they start. It’s the latest in baby gear, and it’s got everybody talking. The Fisher-Price iPad Apptivity Seat is a reclining baby seat with a toy bar and a...

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Finding Ways to Put the “Education” Back in Educational Apps

The holiday season is behind us and with it came a flood of newly wrapped gifts, trendy clothes that fit (or did not), and a host of stimulating digital toys and games intricately designed to build our brains for the new world order. As parents, we are overwhelmed—dare we say flummoxed—by the sheer volume of so-called “educational” material that we can...

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Can Media Help Teach Emotional Intelligence?

Fred Rogers was among the first to demonstrate that television can have a positive impact on a child’s social-emotional development, which is integral for success in school and life in general. In fact, ever since Daniel Goleman’s book on the subject in 1995, emotional intelligence (EI), or “a person’s ability to perceive, identify, and manage emotion,” has become a hot...

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Paul Tough on Stress and Children’s Success

Recently, author Paul Tough was the Saint Vincent College Threshold Series lecturer, as the opening event  in celebration of the Fred Rogers Center’s 10th anniversary. Tough’s recent book, “How Children Succeed,” explains the brain science behind the toxic effects of long-term stress on young children and how to prevent and undo the harm it produces. Fred Rogers knew the importance of...

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Preschoolers Can Learn Good Things From TV

This post orginally appeared at Seattle Mama Doc, a Seattle Children’s Hospital blog. It appears here with permission. Television programming for children is abundant. Screens are a luxurious fixture in most of our lives and I’m not here to tell you to turn them off. Well, at least not today. In fact, that tactic, the one where we pediatricians urge families...

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Turn off the TV in the Background and Talk to Your Children

What parents can learn from the early science of brain development. We’ve been closely following Hillary Clinton’s new Too Small to Fail campaign. We were happy to see this helpful post from research associate Rey Fuentes, posted at Next Generation (one of the campaign’s partners) on, among other things, the importance of turning off the TV in the background. He emphasizes...

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