Sue Scheff: TIME TO TALK - New Study Shows Teens Spend 53 Hours a Week Electronically!

It's out. It's official.  It's new research from the Partnership for a Drug Free America that is shocking and revealing about today's teen and electronic media.  As schools are opening all over the country and you are diligently getting your teen's supply list filled, stop and take the time to talk!

According to a recent Press Release

New omnibus research from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America shows that more than one-third of parents are concerned that TV (38%), computers (37%) and video games (33%) make it harder for them to communicate with their media-engrossed teens about risky behaviors, like drug and alcohol use. The survey of more than 1,200 parents also confirms that a quarter or more are worried that newer forms of media, including cell phone texting (27%) social networking sites, like Facebook (25%) and Twitter (19%) hinder effective parent/child communication about the dangers of teen substance abuse.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study of 2,000 teens released earlier this year, the average amount of time young people (8-18 year olds) spend consuming entertainment media is up dramatically to almost eight hours per day – that’s at least 53 hours a week of immersion in some form of media. The research also noted that the more media teens consume, the less happy they tend to be and those who are most captivated by media reported their academic performance suffered. About half (47&) of heavy media users reported they usually get fair to poor grades, mostly C’s or lower, compared to about a quarter (23%) of light media users.

Are we awake yet?  Are parents getting it?  With all this time teenagers are putting into their social, digital and electronic world, when is there time to talk to their parents?
Now it is up to the parent to make the Time to Talk! has provided an excellent tool kit for parents to help get engaged with their teens.  For those parents who are hesitant or don’t know how to send text messages, the Partnership has created a free, downloadable guide called “Time To Text.” The tool is now available at and offers quick tips on how to text, suggests examples of different messages to send to teens and even provides a cheat sheet parents can keep in their wallet.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

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