Posts in Mental Health
Does device checking cause anxiety?

The American Psychologic Association (APA) just released a report that found that almost 90% of adults in the U.S. say that they either often check or constantly check their emails, texts, and social media accounts. This group reported higher anxiety levels than those who do not check constantly.

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Mental health issues on social media, who is talking?

My own two teens both have rich emotional lives—full of ups and downs (like most of us on this planet). From this I realized I wanted to talk more with them about how they and their friends communicate on social media and via text about their mental health. What do they find helpful and what is not helpful?

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Who knows the family screen time rules?

When my daughter Tessa, who is in Screenagers, saw the completed film, I was shocked by one of her first reactions. She said, ”I didn't realize so many other kids are dealing with all this rule stuff like we are." Of course, she had been with me over the years as I was making the film, and yet somehow, she did not know how common it is for families to struggle with setting limits. She went on to tell me how rarely any of her friends talked about their rules around screen time. 

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Sleep: Is this one time you can separate from your phone?

Tech Talk Tuesday #39
Does your teen sleep next to his/her phone?

A new meta analysis published in Jama Pediatrics confirmed how portable devices like cellphones and tablets are seriously affecting our children's sleep.  Sleep is one of the biggest pediatric public health issues of our time. I hear this firsthand when I ask groups in the post screening discussions "who sleeps with their cellphones their room?" Most hands in the room go up.

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Cellphones at school, what are the rules?

Tech Talk Tuesday #32
What is a phone's role at school?

My daughter is in 9th grade in a junior high, and my son in the high school, and it seems every year they, and I, are not entirely clear on the rules at school around cellphones. Tessa tells me that one teacher has a zero tolerance policy. On the first day he told them that if he catches them with a phone, he will put it on his desk—In this first week, he has not confiscated one during her class.  Another “more chill” (in Tessa’s words) teacher says if you finish your work you can be on your phone. He added that there are “appropriate times to be on your phone and non-appropriate times.”  I’m eager to have a Tech Talk Tuesday tonight with my kids about how this is all working...the different rules, their desire to check their phones versus their need to pay attention, etc. 

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Homework and screen time, what's the plan this year?

Tech Talk Tuesday #31
How do you balance homework and screentime?

Screen time and homework can be a real problem. Our children often need screens to do their homework and then are automatically vulnerable to distraction when they need concentration the most. Famous research out of Stanford showed that when people multitask they feel as if they are doing better and better at the different tasks but actually they are doing worse and worse on all of them. 

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Staying connected, then and now...

Tech Talk Tuesday #30
How do you contact your friends and family through technology?

When I was young I saw the Truffaut film, Small Change, that made me want to be French. I started working at various jobs at 12 and by 16, I was able to pay my way to France for a summer to travel alone. Ok, why am I telling you this? Well, I remember trying to stay connected with people back home in Berkeley and spending a lot of time picking out postcards to send. I remember hoping the postcards would get home before I did—geez, did postcards to take forever back then, and even now they still take so long. I thought this would be a great conversation to have for Tech Talk Tuesday this week. Here are some questions to get the conversation going:

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4 Tips for creating a screen-time contract for the new year

As summer break nears its final days and I see the fall frenzy of school-and-everything-else schedules coming my way, I am preparing for the transition.  Amidst considerations around supplies, extracurriculars, transportation, and meals is of course…managing screen time.

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The new summer camp anxiety: Unplugging Angst

Tech Talk Tuesday #23
If you were to unplug for a week how do you think that would make you feel?

This summer there are many opportunities for kids to be plugged in, but also many are getting the unique experience of unplugging because they are going to away to camps or in day camps that don't allow devices. There was a study done out of UCLA that shows that children who spend even 5 days without their devices, in tech-free camps, have restoration of the capacity for empathy.

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Not all screen time is created equal

Tech Talk Tuesday #21
What are your go-to passive screen time distractions?

If your child’s life has included a Minecraft phase, you know what I’m talking about. There’s the beginner level of the game that you play, walking from place to place collecting resources for survival, and there are the deeper levels, that can include creating entire neighborhoods to programming your own action sequences and building tools that you make available to other players.

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