Posted in 21st Century parenting, adolescent digital problems, digital health and wellness, digital parenting, parents and technology, social media, teens and technology, tweens and technology

Maybe Technology Itself Is Not the Primary Cause of Adolescent Digital Problems?

I’ve just finished reading a June 3, 2019 New York Times article, When Social Media is Really Problematic for Adolescents, by pediatrician Perri Klass and published for kids working on techher New York Times Check-up column. It’s an engaging read for parents of digital kids and for educators. (Check out other New York Times articles by Perri Klass.)

Dr. Klass makes a strong case for using a new paradigm when we consider the 21st Century digital world challenges of preteens and adolescents. She writes that technology activities such as gaming and social media may not be the primary cause of problems such as cyberbullying, addiction, or suicide, but rather interactive factors that further complicate the existing social-emotional and psychiatric problems of many young people.           

Continue reading “Maybe Technology Itself Is Not the Primary Cause of Adolescent Digital Problems?”

Posted in answers to media questions, digital parenting, media literacy, parent education, parents and technology

The Center on Media and Child Health-Meet the Mediatrician – Bookmark It

Do you constantly ask questions about the influence of media on your children? The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) website at Boston Children’s Hospital is a reservoir of information for parents, teachers, pediatricians, and other professionals. Led by pediatrician Michael Rich, MD, MPH, a professor at Harvard Medical School, the mission of the organization is to “…empower both children and those who care for them to create and consume media in ways that optimize children’s health and development.”

The Center and its staff are especially concerned with helping parents become skilled at overseeing the media that children consume. The philosophy is not to banish media — that is impossible anyway — but to help adults and children learn how to manage it skillfully, as well as to understand direct and subliminal media messages. You can also visit the CMCH blog for regular and timely posts about children, adolescents, media and research.

In addition to the resources at the CMCH Dr. Rich writes a column, Ask the Mediatrician, answering questions about media and children. Anyone can submit a question, and an archive of past questions and answers is posted at the site. A button link to this feature is in the middle of the right-hand column.

One of My Favorite Quotes from Dr. Michael Rich

In America we make a distinction between education and entertainment. We learn important values and serious information in school, at church, and in the doctor’s office. But television, movies and other media are entertainment, relaxing “down time for our minds.” Unfortunately, the education/entertainment dichotomy is both artificial and false…Children spend more time using media than they spend at school, with parents, or in any other activity except for sleep. Media are teaching our children, and they are incorporating what they learn into their lives. We must pay more attention to the lessons they are learning.

“Every Moment is a Teachable Moment,” Pediatrics, July 1, 2001 (p.180)