My passion is to help parents of young children trust their own instincts, know that their attention is most important to the child and help them see where and how to bring that attention within their busy lives. I founded and direct the non-profit Healthy Media Choices and teach Children and Media at Fordham University. Whether speaking at a conference, creating custom workshops for schools, communities and teacher training institutes, or working with an individual family, my work is infused, not just with research, but with personal experience as a parent and grandparent and the stress that conflicting information and the demands of everyday life can put on parents who are trying to be intentional and caring with their young children.
In the decade between the birth of my two children, (one in 1978 and the other in 1988), I witnessed a seismic shift in the media landscape around children. In response, I established center for preschoolers, “Ariadne’s Thread,” which focused on crafts and sensory-based free play. Working with those preschool-aged children, I saw first-hand the impact commercial media use can have on a child’s attention. From exchanges with parents, I learned the kind of non-judgmental conversations that give support and research-based information. Addressing the need to develop tools to help more parents navigate their demanding lives joyfully, while being intentional about media has been my work in the two decades since.
I wrote my Masters thesis on media literacy within the family, and for five years interviewed early childhood experts on the weekly “Healthy Media Choices Hour” on Brattleboro Community Radio. As a featured expert in the Time Warner study “The Future of Children’s Television Programming” I contributed to an effort to find ways digital technologies can facilitate engaged participation and media literacy education.
My first book From Day One, is due out in September, 2017.