Sunday, August 17, 2014

Taming the Media

With school starting again, it's time to get our homes in order, which for many of us means shopping for school supplies, getting back-to-school haircuts, and bringing our kids' bedtimes back to a reasonable hour!

In all of that reordering of our lives, we'd be wise to take a fresh look at another important area of our lives, and that is how we use media in our homes.

I was interviewed recently and used as a source for the August 2014 Ensign article called "Taming the Media."

The author Starla Butler was awesome to work with, and she did a great job of really packing the article full of real, applicable, useful advice that is easy to tailor to every home and every family situation.

I encourage you to read the article yourself and then do as it suggests: sit down together as a family and create an outline for how media should be used in your home and review/revise it regularly as needed.  

Since the article covers family media planning from many angles, I thought I'd share a few simple suggestions for how you could analyze your family media usage in the home.

---Look at how each member of the family is spending their time online/using media throughout the day.  To track this information, you might want to print out this free timeline template and write down your observations throughout the day.  Write down all of the media usage that occurs during a 12 hour period (including time parents spend online, on their phones, etc).  Include the entire family in this effort.  This should give you a good jumping off point for figuring out what patterns of behavior you like and which ones your family needs to curb.

---As a family, search the words of modern prophets and apostles to discover what guidelines they suggest when it comes to media consumption. (There are lots of great resources within the article itself.)  You can also read the church's guidelines in the media section of For the Strength of Youth.

---Based on what church leaders have said on this topic, choose a family media motto that is easy to remember and which expresses your own goals for the role that media should play in your home.  We did this recently as a family and chose for our motto: "Tune in to the Spirit."  In addition to this, write down specific guidelines for media usage (of cell phones, texting, TV viewing, gaming, and internet time) and post them where all members of the family can be reminded of them often.

The suggestions in this article will help you to tame the media and harness its power for the good of your family.  If you haven't already done so, go read it now!

The thing I like best about the article is that it focuses on teaching correct principles and acknowledges that all families are different and need to set their own rules based on their needs, desires, and individual situations.  With that said, I will be sharing more specific helps on this topic again soon...Hopefully you will find something that speaks to you!


  1. I love if you shared what kind of rules you have made for yourself as mom with all the media!! I love this idea and plan on doing thanks for sharing!

  2. I loved the stories from your family that were in the article. They were so inspiring! Thanks for your good example!

    1. Thank you! What was not mentioned in the article is that the tablet was a gift from Santa!

  3. Thanks for sharing this information; I am going to share it with my children and others.
    Blessings for do this one; I think it is very important.

  4. It was great to read your comments, and claim I "know" you! Thanks for the tips.