Kids are blasted with media messages from the time they are born. Infants are strapped in their car seats for what can amount to hundreds of hours a year listening to music, commercials and DJ's and as kids get older they experience more and more media in many different formats. All of this comes with messages that children need to interpret and analyze as they get older.
I love the "Did you Know 4.0" video as an illustration of how we experience media these days.
So, if commercials are taking up so much space in these 5th grade brains imagine the real estate inhabited by other media messages. Media can affect everything from a child's self esteem to how they view other people in the world. The good news is that by talking to your kids about media and teaching them what to look for as they watch and listen to movies, commercials and television you give them control over the way media messages affect them. Kids who are savvy to media tricks are more likely to examine and analyze the messages that they hear and see. Knowledge is power!
Check out Common Sense Media to get tips on talking to your kids about media messages...