Category - Media Safety
18 Ways to Unplug as a Family
A sleeping bag for a phone? It might sound silly, but this idea is making the rounds as a fun solution to a common family problem: Family time is being squeezed out for screen time. And, while kids are spending an astonishing 9 hours a day on electronic media, parents often need reminders as well to put the shiny devices down and engage with our families and surroundings. National Day of Unplugging, March 3 – 4 (sundown to sundown), is an idea whose time has come. Participants are encouraged to take the pledge to unplug and then continue some of… Continue Reading
Technology vs. the Art of Conversation
Increasingly we rely on technology, email, voicemail, Facebook, Snapchat, and texting to communicate with others. It is not uncommon for groups of children and teens to gather for a social outing only to be found looking at their phones and not at one another. Our level of engagement and the way we spend time with one another is changing rapidly and with great consequences. One of the main reasons young children held my attention for decades is because of their keen ability to engage us with creative, entertaining, and very humorous, conversation. The way that children weave their colorful stories… Continue Reading
Is Using Your Phone Affecting Your Child and Family Life?
Do you recall life before cell phones? The days when mothers and caregivers strolled with their young and talked to them on the way to the park? How we looked into our child’s eyes with love and attention whenever possible? When we took the time to pass on the social cues and social graces that children need to socialize throughout life? Remember when we walked with a friend, our children, or our partners to a movie or café, engaged in a relaxed conversation with good will and held hands instead of our cell phones? This was not very long ago,… Continue Reading
When Should We Pull the Plug? Children & Media
Joy, a mother of three, recently came to Parents Place because she thought her kids had a serious addiction … to their laptops, phones, and video games. “They spend all of their free time texting, IMing, and playing Wii games,” says Joy. Her concern is warranted, notes Holly Pedersen, MFT, PhD, Parents Place’s Community Education Director. “Studies show that the average 8- to 18-year-old spends about 7.5 hours a day on electronic devices,” says Holly, an expert in children’s use of media, including cyberbullying. “But that doesn’t necessarily make it bad. It’s more complicated than that. “Because the technology is… Continue Reading
How Do You Quiet the Buzz of Cyberbullying?
“He is such a faxxx like i can’t belief his dum stupid shirt. what a xxxx fairy.” Has your child ever received a text like this? If so, he has experienced cyberbullying. “When one child targets another through an electronic device like an iPhone to threaten, humiliate, or torment, he or she has engaged in cyberbullying,” says bullying expert Holly Pedersen, MFT, PhD, Director of the Community Education Center of Parents Place on the Peninsula. “What makes this form of bullying so lethal is that it usually falls under the radar until it’s too late—when the message goes viral. In extreme… Continue Reading