Square Eyes: Children, Screen Time and F


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ISBN 9781925523584

Emily Booker


Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 15.3 × 23.4 cm


If our
toddlers had been outside playing in the `fresh air’, speaking words
precociously or giggling with delight at something `real’, we would have
happily celebrated this behaviour. But we weren’t about to admit that our
children were excited about television. Being happy about our children watching
the `idiot box’ was not something we could admit to.

Troubled by
what her daughter was watching, and by how this made her feel as a parent,
Emily Booker set out to learn more about children and television: listening not
only to scholars and experts in the field, but to children themselves. What she
found was that the `problem’ of children’s addiction to screens is actually, in
part, a grown-ups’ problem. Speaking to children about what they watch and why
reveals a steadily consistent response: they love to seek out programs that are
`fun’. But their choices are often a source of anxiety for parents, and appear
to provoke a need to censure and control the child’s enjoyment. At a time when
children’s lives are increasingly regulated, and the pressures of parenting are
felt ever more keenly, this important book teaches us much about the value of entertainment,
not only for children but for adults.

“If you’ve ever suffered from a throbbing guilt-gland when
your kids are glued to the screen – here’s your antidote.”
Kathy Lette

“Ground-breaking research into the importance of screen time,
and fun, for our over-regulated children. A compelling book.”
Catharine Lumby

About the author
Emily Booker has spent many years working on childrens issues both nationally and internationally. Her work for the United Nations Childrens Fund, UNICEF, involved leading global projects on childrens television and child rights. Emily has produced award-winning documentaries on children and young people and continues to work for the UN. She teaches journalism and communications at the University of NSW.

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