Parenting in a Digital Age

https://blog.mamashealth.com/organs/human-brain/

Parenting in a Digital Age

cute girl princess dress crown

All at once, my little girl is seven.

Just like that… she is nearing the end of her childhood and I feel as though I’ve missed everything. Now classmates are showing up with cell phones?

WHAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!? Silly me, caught off guard, I thought I had more time?

Recently I attended a talk put together by the local PTA. Here I listened to reputable, professional sources sharing some ground rules we can implement that will make a difference TODAY.

Join me by educating YOURSELF!

WHY are screens bad? Follow the research on Brain development-

Everything in moderation

“Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle that’s what you’re doing every time you use the Internet.” says author Nicolas Carr

We all know the brain isn’t fully developed until our mid-twenties. But until recently, something I didn’t consider was the cumulative impact mobile devices are having on my daughter’s developing brain.

The pre-frontal cortex is the LAST part of the brain to develop {the organizing, planning, decision making, focusing part of the brain}. It’s the part of the brain that requires LOTS of sleep and LOTS of time in the real world to develop properly.

quote about the price of everything

Screens stimulate our central nervous system, creating an emotional reaction when we turn them off. Neurotherapist Susan Dunaway compared this effect to the likes of a merry-go-round. You feel out of control when you ‘jump off’ of the merry-go-round aka. screen.

I’ve ‘tested‘ this myself… unintentionally proving the point by pulling the screen away from my daughter when she doesn’t listen to me.

A full blown meltdown ensues.

{Yes, some Sundays… I have been known to give her the ipad in the morning for waaaay longer than I should…}

Eyeballs are important!

When I close down my laptop, I’m acutely aware of the headache that’s been rising. My eyes ache and the world is blurry.

In order for our eyeballs to develop properly, we need sunlight! It’s silly simple when I think about it. But everything moves so fast these days. I haven’t really considered how the screens in my life might adversely affect my daughter as she grows up.

Making eye contact; Good for eyeballs; Good for micro-interactions

Feeling known and knowing others; Relationships take time to develop and eye contact is an important component of micro-interactions with others. These micro-interactions are important for our social brain to develop properly.

Myopia- nearsightedness- has increased by 20% in the last few decades!! Wowza.. that’s a dramatic increase and a direct result of mobile screens.

Our children are build to learn and play. When we hand them a screen we are limiting their imagination, handicapping the brain and hurting their eyeballs.

Establish Boundaries; Here are the ground rules

AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Set these boundaries for yourself as well.

I am taking the advice  of Natasha Burgert, whom reviewed 3 boundaries that are important for reducing risk of our children engaging in risky, deadly dangerous behaviors online during adolescence. Detective Moore from the Overland Park Police Department reviewed some scary statistics… I’ll spare the details for this blog post.

Believe me, you’ll thank me later. Just start here.

rules for technology boundariesLet me simplify 3 easy rules- 

  1. No Tech at the Table. Family meals are a valued ritual that connect us to one another and build reliancy. FOUR times a week, 18 minutes. That’s all. PB&J is ok!! It’s the time that matters.
  2. No tech in the bathroom OR bedroom. {Yes, this goes for you & me too. You’ll live & sleep better!} We all sacrifice sleep for screen time. Be the example and you’ll be more present & productive during the day.
  3. Just because it’s mobile doesn’t mean it’s mobile!! Establish expectations & limitations. We shouldn’t ALWAYS be on our screens when waiting in line, at the doctor’s office or at the RED LIGHT- try starting a conversation instead?!

Where do we go from here?

  • Stay Engaged
  • Stay Involved
  • Stay Educated

And what about our good friend.. social media???

Establish age limits that you can abide by in your house.

Personally, I’m still working through MY challenge with managing social media… I don’t think it’s a healthy place for the adolescent brain. So I plan to spare my daughter the option of having a choice in the matter.

This summer I got back to engaging online.

Each and every time I get online, I actively choose to make a positive impact. Get online with positive intentions! Spend time online WELL setting and achieving small goals while you are there.

I set a small goal of positively interacting with at least THREE people each time I am online. Give yourself time limits on social media, achieve your goal then log out!

So… I’m getting offline and engaging!

Like RIGHT NOW..  after I hit publish, I’m turning off this computer, throwing my phones in the drawer and starting a dance party with my little girl…

Because tomorrow WILL come… and she won’t be so little-

xoxo adrienne signing off

__________________________________________________________________________________

*Resources:

Dr. Natasha Burgert is a KC based pediatrician, National Spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the AAP’s counsel of Communication and Media. She shares her expertise in child health as a regular contributor to NBC’s News Parent Tool Kit, US News and World Report, and KcKidsDoc.com.

Susan Dunaway is a Neurotherapist and board certified in neurofeedback, a specialized technique that improves the brain’s ability to communicate, task and use energy efficiently. She helps clients at her clinic, Amend Neurocounseling and speaks occasionally about technology’s impact on society through the Face2FaceMovement.

Books you should check out:

Websites for Reference:

Common Sense Media – Reviews on Apps, Video Games and other research that will help you navigate as new media gains popularity.

Screenagers – Great information for tips and research. Find contracts to hold your child accountable with their smart phones

 

 

 

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Meet Adrienne

I’m Adrienne Maples

I'm a southern gal who invested all my effort into Art School to learn the secrets of photography before digital re-invented the market! In addition to art and photography, I love my emoji pj pants, fresh garden tomatoes, and working from home beside my daughter while she plays make-believe. My mission? Capturing beautiful moments with my camera, inspiring others, as together we navigate this new age of social media, instant gratification and constant contact!

 

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Hi! I'm Adrienne Maples

A professional photographer, podcaster & entrepreneur based in Kansas City.

I love preserving memories for my clients. I'm creative, passionate, fun-loving and I hope to inspire you!

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