Parents often feel left in the “digital dust” of their kids’ technological savvy. No matter how much they try to keep up with the latest apps and social trends, parents continue to feel lost amid the constantly changing technology, and more concerned than ever that kids are addicted, detached, or distracted because of their digital devices.
In her book, “SCREENWISE: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World” Devorah Heitner, Ph.D., addresses some of the primary concerns parents have expressed about their children’s use or overuse – or more – of digital media, such as safety, distraction, peer drama, and exposure to inappropriate content.
As a leading international expert in raising kids in the digital age, Dr. Heitner aims to bridge the gap between kids’ technological savvy and their parents’ social wisdom, so that parents can mentor (not monitor) their kids to be personally, socially, and professionally successful in the digital age.
SCREENWISE introduces a more intentional approach to mentoring kids on technology, focused on modeling thoughtful use of technology, creating times to be unplugged, and teaching kids ways to repair mistakes.
The book features real-life examples and research-based advice that parents can use to help them understand and relate to their children, to cultivate their own digital awareness, and to embrace their new role as media mentors.
A few easy-to-implement strategies include texting etiquette, asking a child’s permission before posting something about him or her, co-creating solutions, and navigating comflict.
“Remember to talk in person when a text, social media comment or chat makes you upset…face to face is the way to work it out,” Dr. Heitner writes.
“Exploring the digital world together will help show your children potential pitfalls – and, even more importantly, will create a two-way discussion. … Your kids will feel like they are in it with you – that you are on their side,” she says.
Dr. Heitner is the founder and director of Raising Digital Natives, a resource for parents and schools seeking advice on how to help children thrive in a world of digital connectedness.
There will be a book launch of SCREENWISE at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Bookends and Beginnings, in the alley behind 1712 Sherman Ave.