Dr. Rebecca Hains

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Teaching our boys about consent and respect from an early age

In the Steubenville rape trials, the social and digital media trail proved that many boys were complicit in the rapes of Jane Doe–not just the two who were found guilty. Chillingly, these boys seem like they could be anyone’s son….

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Media literacy for preschoolers, pt. 4: Tips and resources

This week, I’ve been writing about how parents can help their preschoolers become media literate. [See: Part 1: how media work, Part 2: media content, Part 3: media creation.] For my wrap-up post in this series, I’d like to share…

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Media literacy for preschoolers, pt. 3: Understanding that media are created

This week, I’m writing about media literacy and the preschool set, and talking about how I’ve been actively helping my little boy become a media literate person. First, I shared the kinds of conversations we have about how the media…

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Media literacy for preschoolers, pt. 2: Thinking critically about media content

As I began discussing yesterday, young children can become media literate with their parents’ help. In today’s media-saturated world, raising media literate children is an increasingly important goal. Our kids need to (1) understand how the media work, (2) be…

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Media literacy for preschoolers: Explaining how the media work

Media literacy is a concept that’s often taught in schools–though not often enough, in my opinion. Being media literate means having the ability to think critically about media content, as well as an understanding of how the media work. It…

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Disney-Pixar’s Brave: Critiquing the criticisms

I saw Brave the day it debuted in theaters, and I’m glad that Merida is a different kind of princess–one who can be read as a critique of both the trope that princesses are passive and the trend to tell…

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For Father’s Day, shared experiences make the best gifts

When it comes to selecting great gifts for kids, it’s important to gift experiences, not just toys. After all, studies show that experiences make people happier than objects do: Objects break, become outdated, or pale in comparison to superior items, and the…

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Practicing slightly subversive parenting: Toddlers and gender

Gender representations in popular kids’ storybooks make me sigh. Books based on TV programs and movies seem among the worst offenders; yet they’re inescapably popular. To manage them, I do two things: First, I keep movie- and tv-based books to…

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