Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Wii and YouTube are among the innovations that have changed childhood – and parenting – for the better in the past decade. And for the worst? Grand Theft Auto, digital cheating, World of Warcraft, texting while driving and Webkinz. So says Common Sense Media, which offers up a list of 20 innovations and entertainments that have “revolutionized how our kids communicate, create, learn, and play” for better and for worse.
“Just about every child knows how to find just about anything by Googling,” CSM notes. “It’s opened the world to our children — sometimes bringing in too much, too soon — and parents found out it was up to them to teach their kids to surf safely and responsibly.”
On digital cheating, Common Sense notes: “Anonymity, ease, and lack of clear rules on right and wrong have made illegal downloading, plagiarizing, or texting answers to friends so “normal” that kids don’t realize that digital cheating is still cheating — and not OK.”
Also on the “10 Best” list: Harry Potter, American Idol, TiVo, cell phones and iTunes. Rounding out the worst list: The Bathroom Wall, Gossip Girl books, Superbad, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and celebutantes, and erectile dysfunction ads. “No parent needs to discuss four-hour erections with any child, end of story,” says CSM. “And certainly not after the third inning on a Saturday.”