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One of the most important resiliency tools we all carry in our tool belts is the act of remembering past times we got through challenges. The problem is doing it during setbacks, and those times don’t readily come to mind. Today’s blog is about 3 ways to nurture this skill in our children.
“Having calm, consistent conversations has greatly improved screen balance in my home and I have written hundreds of articles to help others through my weekly Tech Talk Tuesdays newsletter and blog.”— Delaney Ruston, MD Physician/Filmmaker"
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Mental illness, in its most severe forms, can be devastating. I know because it has caused such hardship for my family. I grew up with two parents who both had severe mental illness. I had no siblings and almost no family nearby. Today I’m sharing a bit of my life story and offer questions you can use when talking with kids and students about the media's portrayal of severe mental illness.READ MORE >
In keeping with this month of Mental Health Awareness, I want to talk about one of the most effective resilience skills we can help impart to our kids: the act of taking pain and turning it into positive action. It is well established that doing actions to address tragedies or injustices can lift our feelings of wellbeing, hope, self-efficacy, and purpose.READ MORE >
In the spirit of Mental Health Month, it is paramount that all kids know that mental health issues affect us all. Our emotional lives are so complicated. The pressure youth feel to exude certain feelings can be intense. A significant portion of my book Parenting in the Screen Age is devoted to mental health issues and today I want to share one small section of the book.READ MORE >
Today I share three important brain health messages to get to our kids. Also, to share language you can use with them ongoing — whether it’s about their own mental health, others in the family, or peers and beyond.READ MORE >
If there was ever a time to get our communities together, our parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents, and particularly our youth — to talk about ways we can help our young people with their mental health, it is now. There is no denying the measurable fact that since 2011, the rates of mental health problems — depression, suicide, and others, along with loneliness — have been going up.READ MORE >
So often, we talk about “pushy parents” — those putting too much pressure on their kids to straight As, take all AP classes, etc. The fact is there is an incredibly high percentage of kids who are primarily putting this pressure on themselves. All kids and teens experience anxiety at times. It is our bodies’ reaction to fear and stress — it is a part of being human.And then there is anxiety that has gone astray — clinical anxiety. This kind of anxiety is often missed or ignored in youth who are extremely preoccupied with their academic performance — an obsession with getting straight As and the like.READ MORE >
Regret is a topic I have long felt is under-discussed. The feeling of regret is very uncomfortable. Many people I talk to who have regrets only have a mild form. They may have things they would have done differently, but the thoughts in their head don’t come up several times a day. I, however, join hands in solidarity with us less fortunate folks who have brains that experience more repetitive bouts of regret. It is one of the strongest forms of anxiety I contend with. Today I write about ways to help our kids through regret.READ MORE >
Today I’m sharing two polar opposites stories of people’s choices around video gaming — extremes can be great conversation starters. One is from a kid who decided, on his own, to stop all video gaming essentially, and the other is about teens attending a high school that is 100% focused on video gaming and the video gaming industry.READ MORE >
Everyone is trying to grasp where we currently are with screen time and kids and where we will be when the COVID crisis is more fully behind us. Today I highlight some of the key findings in a new report and what we can glean from the data to help in conversations with young people.READ MORE >
I have developed a technique I call “Check My Landing,” where I follow up on a conversation with someone when I wonder if my words got misinterpreted. Learn about how to help our youth use this to improve communication.READ MORE >
When I give workshops to students, they get wide-eyed when I tell them, “Our brains are designed for challenge,” and then go on to explain how this relates to boredom, video games, and social media. Boredom is not a mild ho-hum type feeling — it is a very unpleasant sensation, particularly if you are a young person. It’s the brain’s way of saying that it wants something to ponder.READ MORE >
In today’s blog, I write about things we can do right now to help our kids and teens navigate the deluge of war content on social media. There are many fake TikTok videos about the war in Ukraine. Investigators found that some of these videos use sound taken from video games.READ MORE >
Our youth have complex social worlds, online and off, particularly now in the ongoing age of COVID, and they are vulnerable to the fact that they can’t control who is attracted to them, nor who they are attracted to. In today’s Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I’m writing about how to help our kids with the universal human challenge of knowing when to accept what we can’t change in our social lives versus what we can try and change.READ MORE >
In today’s Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I am sharing some tools that have helped my marriage over the years. I’ve purposely timed this post to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Taking the time to work on one’s long-term relationship — to get help, to be vulnerable, and to compromise — is an act of love.READ MORE >
Recently two friends of mine — a married couple — told me that they were just about to get their 13-year-old son his first smartphone. They explained that they told him that they would get him one once he reached 8th grade and did well academically during the first part of the school year. They explained to their son, I’ll call him Charlie, that they needed to set up expectations and ground rules around the phone, and they wanted him to write down the reasons he wanted a phone and why he felt he needed a phone. Also, they asked him to write some possible rules and ideas about good digital citizenship. They recorded the conversation and today I share some of it with you.READ MORE >
Today I offer some intriguing stories related to video gaming, and I am confident you will want to discuss with others — even beyond just kids because data reveals that more and more people over 50 do some sort of video gaming. Do you know what Cozy games are?READ MORE >
We are focusing on adults today. Teens have told me they get frustrated that so much focus is directed at them around being hooked to screens. They know issues around persuasive tech affect all of us. Our kid’s frustration often manifests as defensiveness and shuts down production discussions. So, to show them that this is truly affecting all of us, I am passing on examples adults have recently shared with me about the tech temptations they struggle with and ways they try to resist. The hope, as always, is you will share these with your kids and teens.READ MORE >
I heard the floorboards creak and thought it was my husband and daughter getting ready to go to the mountains for the day. I heard the front door shut loudly and figured they had left. I fell back asleep. Sometime later, I heard the floor creaking again. I yelled out, “Peter, Peter, are you still here?!” He replied, “Yeah, we haven’t left yet.” Read my blog to find out what happened, AND tips for better ways to manage cellphone timeREAD MORE >
For the next four weeks, I will be offering four ideas that can help tackle screen time in the New Year. This week’s approach is around the idea of “ time to clean the screen.” This should involve everyone in the home and pertains particularly to phones and laptops, but other devices like Chromebooks and iPads are perfect for this as well.READ MORE >
This is my 304th blog since I began writing my Tech Talk Tuesday in 2016. Of the 51 posts in 2021, today, I share the 14 most popular of the year. I also share the 5 most popular episodes of the Screenagers Podcast.READ MORE >
Today I talk with an 11-year-old girl about what she likes about the popular gaming platforms Roblox and Minecraft, as well as some of the uncomfortable experiences she's encountered with strangers while playing video games … and what she's done in such situations.READ MORE >
Today I give ideas to spark conversations about how we, as influential adults in kids' lives, have responded to injustices and tragedies throughout our lives (tiny and big) to strengthen young people’s mindsets that there are always things that can be done. Specifically, I focus on advocacy, volunteering, and donating.READ MORE >