Posts tagged with "Parenting"

Co-Parenting Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Co-Parenting Tips For Divorcing Couples

Dads’ Resource Center offers tips for successfully co-parenting following divorce or separation.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Many of these marriages involve children, putting them at risk for a variety of emotional issues resulting from the separation. It is vital that the children continue to have the active involvement of both parents, and that the parents find a way to work together on their behalf.

“The impact on kids not having access to their fathers is heartbreaking,” says Dads’ Resource Center founder Dr. Joel N. Myers. “Most fathers know their children are missing out, but are unable to overcome the barriers to the system and fulfill the most fundamental role that men have – being a dad.”

How the two parents go about co-parenting makes a world of difference in the emotional health of their child. Successful co-parenting doesn’t happen by accident, but it is something that people can do with intention and effort.

The AACAP advises that children will do best when they know that both parents will remain actively engaged in their lives. They also report that the research shows children do better when parents can minimize conflict and cooperate on the child’s behalf. While many parents know that this is the healthiest route for their children, they may still find it difficult to figure out how to do it.

According to Dads’ Resource Center, there are three stages that co-parents go through following separation. The stages include family reorganization, co-parenting, and personal growth. In family reorganization, decisions are made about where the children will be and when and how they will be supported. The co-parenting stage is where decisions will be made about how to make it all work. Finally, the personal growth stage is where parents have finally established a working relationship without conflict, which brings relief to their children. The longer that parents remain stuck in the re-organization and co-parenting stages, the more the children are negatively impacted.

It’s important that parents make a concerted effort to learn how to co-parent while separated. Here are some tips for how parents can successfully co-parent, provided by Dads’ Resource Center:

  • Both parents need to commit to always doing what is best for their children, which includes making sure both parents have the access needed to maintain an active and meaningful relationship with them. This extends to family on both sides.
  • Communication is vital. Mom and dad should be able to work out the logistics in a patient and calm manner and make a habit of providing updates on how the children are doing – in school, about health-related matters, how they are doing developmentally, and what is going on generally in their lives.
  • Both parents need to practice forgiveness. For the sake of their children, mom and dad need to let the past be in the past and treat one another with acceptance and compassion.
  • Separated parents should educate themselves about the impact that divorce has on children, to help minimize the negative consequences. If they are having a difficult time collaboratively co-parenting parents should find support from family, friends, churches or seek professional help.
  • However, parents should not allow themselves to become overly reliant on family courts and child welfare services to manage their inability to work together. Doing so only enables them in not moving on, and if they don’t move on their children can’t either.

“Parenting is not a one-person job,” added Jeff Steiner, executive director of the Dads’ Resource Center. “Even in a separated family, both parents should view the other parent as an equal partner in the upbringing of their children. This means they must be adaptable and flexible and treat one another with grace and compassion.”

Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and work with fathers to help make improvements.

The Best Ways to Have Family Fun During a Lockdown

By: Marie Miguel

It hasn’t been easy trying to navigate everything during the pandemic. The tragic loss of life has been difficult for many families around the world. It’s also been hard adjusting to not being able to go out and do things that you normally like to do. If you’re raising kids, then you might feel as if you’re going stir crazy being stuck inside together with your family. 

The kids want to be able to do something fun, but you’re going through another lockdown. What are your best options to keep everyone occupied and happy? Keep reading to learn about the best ways to have family fun during a lockdown. This might give you a few good ideas that will make your time spent together at home a lot more entertaining. 

Play Board Games

Have you sat down as a family to play a board game recently? This is a tried and true family activity that has helped many families bond over the years. There are a wide variety of different board games out there that you can try out. You just need to find one that the entire family can enjoy and understand. 

If you have younger children, then you might wish to pick a board game that is a bit on the easier side. If you’re playing with older kids, then you might be fine playing more complex games such as Trivial Pursuit. Whether you’re going to play Monopoly together or if you want to have a rousing game of Scrabble, it’ll be a good time. It’s a fun way to pass the time that you should take advantage of. 

Play Video Games

What if your kids aren’t quite so into old-school board games? You could always try sitting down to play video games with them. Even if you don’t play a lot of video games, it’ll be fun to interact with your kids. There are all sorts of good family-friendly titles that you can choose from. The Nintendo Switch is a particularly good console choice if you’re looking for games that will be fun for kids (and adults) of all ages. 

You can start a little family rivalry in Mario Kart. Or you can work together to try to solve puzzles in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are hundreds of games that you could choose to play, but the important thing is to enjoy your time with your kids. Games can be magical because they can help you to escape when you need to the most. 

Arts & Crafts

Sitting down and doing arts & crafts with your kids could also be a good time. Sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy and try to create something artistic as a family. There are all sorts of little art projects you could take on if you’re so inclined. Create decorations for various holidays or help to teach your kids how to paint. 

Many have rediscovered their love of art during the pandemic. This could be a good weekend activity that you can enjoy with your significant other and your kids. You’ll simply need to ensure that you have the materials for whatever art project you’re interested in. You’ll be able to admire the results of your work when you’re finished, too. 

Listen to Music

What about just relaxing in the living room as a family and listening to music? Yes, sometimes it’s hard to agree on what to listen to when everyone in the family has different tastes in music. However, it can still be fun to share your favorites with your family. Some families have decided to let each kid pick one record, and they will sit down to listen to all of them on a special music day each weekend. 

Another idea is to share your love of music by teaching your kids how to play instruments. If you’re a musician, then this could be a good time. Of course, your kids will need to be interested in music or it might not be so fun for them. Music is powerful, and it can help you have a great time even when you’re stuck inside during a lockdown. 

Watch Family-Friendly Shows

Most families will spend copious amounts of time watching shows on Netflix or Disney Plus during the pandemic. Your family might wind up being no different. That doesn’t mean that watching some great shows with your family won’t be a valuable experience. You can enjoy movies and all sorts of other entertainment media together. 

With so much great content to watch, it’ll be easy to find a new movie to enjoy with your family each weekend. Make some popcorn and sit down in the living room to watch something together. It gives you something to look forward to as a family. Turning it into a fun occasion with snacks and mood lighting should be a good time. 

Cook Together

Have you thought about cooking together? Depending on how you feel about cooking, this might sound like a great idea or a terrible one. Cooking can be a lot of fun when you approach things with the proper attitude. It can also be valuable to teach your kids how to cook early on in life. 

You can make simple dishes together, and the kids will enjoy it. If you want to make things really easy, you can have kids help you with baking. When you’re making cookies it’ll be easy to let the kids cut out the cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Family cooking time could become a staple in your household even once the lockdown is finished. 

Remember That You’re Never Alone

Remember that you’re never alone when you’re starting to feel depressed or anxious. These are trying times, and you can reach out if you feel like you need help. BetterHelp has some awesome resources on parenting, which can help you get through difficult times. Whether you need parenting advice or if you just need to talk to someone about the stress that you’re experiencing, BetterHelp can assist you in the process of putting things into perspective. 

Don’t hesitate to contact an online therapist if you’re feeling uneasy about things in life. Online therapy has helped many people to work through significant problems. It’s easy to talk to a therapist from the comfort of home, and it’s great that this therapy option is so affordable. Look into things today if you’ve been having a tough time and would like to start feeling better. 

Baby illustration by Heather Skovlund

Top Baby Gifts

By: Carly Cohen

The cutest, trendiest, and most functional baby products:

  • Fashionable Bibs

Babies wear a bib every single time they eat. Why not make it a fashion statement? There are so many brands that offer functional and adorable bibs for your child to wear. Brands such as Bamboo Little, Saks OFF Fifth, Mud Pie, and Abby & Finn all offer affordable, fun bibs that range in prices from about $10 to $60.

  • Stylish Diaper Bags

Diaper bags are a must, and there are so many stylish and fun options out there. Brands have truly stepped up their game when it comes to diaper bags. Check out brands like Dagne Dover and Revolve for an everyday bag that will match all outfits.

  •  Baby Sweatsuits

2021 is the year of dressing as comfortably as possible. This includes dressing the little ones comfortably, too. Check out Zara’s website for some super affordable and chic sweatsuits.

  • Organic Skin Care

Nourishing baby is, and will always be, important–no matter what age. Finding natural lotions, shampoos, and washes is for the baby’s health and hygiene. The brand’s Pipette, Evereden, and Honest Beauty offer the best skincare for babies.

  • Cooling Baby Clothes

Linen is known for being a cooling, airy clothing fabric. It is extra popular in the summer for those looking for a lighter clothing option. Countless shops provide cooling clothing for babies and are worth checking out.

  • Wallpaper

Using wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a nursery or children’s bedroom. On Loomwell Home Goods, there are stunning wallpaper designs to fit your baby’s desires and achieve the perfect bedroom.

  • Rattan Furniture

A chic and boho trick to decorate the child’s space is using rattan furniture. On Poppys Little Treasure, there are so many options for bedroom and playroom furniture. They also offer adorable bassinets, which help achieve a beautiful nursery.

  • Handmade Decorations

Check out the small business on Etsy, Shop Little Grace. This shop offers handmade decorations for a baby’s bedroom, party, or anything other occasion.

  • Baby Headwear

There is nothing cuter than a baby in clips, bows, and topknots. Mae + Rae present the perfect looks for the little ones.

  • Electric Nail File

This product is a must-have for cutting baby’s nails. There is no worry in hurting the baby because it is super quick and gentle. Amazon has a great baby-proof electric nail file for only $20. Amazon’s nail file is made from sandpaper, which makes it extra gentle on babies.

It can be difficult to constantly entertain babies and toddlers, which is why iPads can be such handy tools. However, it can be hard to hand over your baby access your new, expensive Apple product with a fragile glass screen. That’s where ZAGG products come in! ZAGG makes safely entertaining your little ones their priority.

ZAGG Gear4® recently announced its new Orlando kids tablet case for Apple iPad 10.2-inch (7th, 8th gen). The Orlando is durable, lightweight and features sturdy adjustable arms that make it the perfect partner for any situation. The Orlando case is made with kid-friendly EVA foam with an inner border lining of D3O to provide up to 6.5 feet of drop protection. The Orlando iPad case for the iPad 10.2-inch (7th, 8th gen) is available today on ZAGG’s website with a limited lifetime warranty.

Orlando kids' tablet case from Jeff Dubois at ZAGG Brands company for use by 360 Magazine

The Bodega

 On Saturday, June 12th btw 4PM-8PM, 360 Magazine will host our intimate immersive pop-up shop, which will be reminiscent of a traditional Bronx Bodega. This po-up shop is a collaborative effort to elevate our brand’s priorities in popular culture and design (PC+D). We are looking to collaborate with and highlight local businesses in the Bronx. 360 Magazine works with LGBT-friendly, community-based organizations.

This boutique and private shopping experience will be held at the #360TRAP Bronx workspace. The event will feature #AOHSOA Trunk Pieces and lifestyle choices, specifically designed for consumers to live their best PC+D lifestyle.

The pop-up will possess a carnival theme that babies and kids will love! The Bodega will feature creative activities and decors compatible with this fun concept. The event’s open bar will run for four hours and feature signature spirits of mixologists, as well as festive tapas. This event will be a privileged opportunity to reinforce brand awareness and network among target audiences and sponsors.This summer event will also be the precursor for World Blood Donor Day (6/14) and Armon Hayes‘ birthday (6/16).

cat illustration for the bodega by heather skovlund for use by 360 magazine

Feltman Brothers Baby and Toddler Clothing

With an Instagram following of almost 80K, Feltman Brothers consistently pulls out all the stops in posting beautiful photos of little ones wearing their distinctive collection of finely crafted, classic styled clothing and accessories. Playtime, celebrations, picnics, or summer christenings will all be comfortable, and memorable with Feltman Brothers summer selections for infants and toddlers.

From rompers and gowns to bibs and hats, the Feltman Brothers collections are the perfect choice for comfort and style, in classic designs that can be passed down for generations to come. Styles like the Vintage Smocked bodice Creeper and the Bobby Suits make for the most darling baby attire. Start the Feltman Brothers tradition with your family by visiting their website.

Feltman Brother's image via Frankie Shirley at HC-PR Group for use by 360 Magazine

Green Sprouts’ Snap and Go Easy-wear Bib

Green Sprouts is a leading family brand that inspires healthy and natural parenting. Green Sprouts’ Snap and Go Easy-wear Bib is the perfect way to keep your little ones clean and comfortable. Babies can rock this celebrity-loved, water-resistant bib at mealtime that limits mess and spill emergencies. In fact, Usher recently shared the most adorable Instagram post with his daughter Sovereign sporting the Green Sprouts’ Snap and Go Easy-wear Bib

This waterproof baby bib neatly rolls up and snaps to store utensils or small snacks in the pocket while on-the-go. The bib’s contoured design moves with baby and stays in place while on-the-go. Furthermore, the fabric is soft, light weight, machine washable, and stain and odor resistant. Green Sprouts products are made without azo dyes, formaldehyde, or PVC for baby’s health and well-being. For more information, please visit Green Sprouts’ website HERE.

Green Sprouts' Snap-and-Go Easy-Wear Bib image via Kristen Ray at 5WPR for use by 360 Magazine

ATTITUDE’s Natural Care and Cleaning Products

ATTITUDE is the trusted eco-friendly brand that conscious consumers turn to for all their baby care, home, personal, and pet grooming needs. This all-natural brand is committed to overall wellness for people, animals, and the environment. With these all-natural, sustainable products, you can be sure that your baby’s sensitive body, skin, and hair are getting the gentle care they require.

ATTITUDE is reducing single-use plastic, offer zero waste options, and plant a tree for every product purchased in partnership with two leading non-profit tree planting organizations. The ECOLOGO-certified brand’s personal care and household cleaning products are safe, effective, and hypoallergenic. Natural ingredients make up all of the brand’s products, with offerings that reduce single-use plastic with plastic-free and bulk collections. ATTITUDE makes it easier to adopt a natural, eco-friendly lifestyle at any age while keeping things clean and sanitary.

2-in-1 Shampoo & Body Wash by baby leaves sold by Attitude Natural Care image via Lindsey Hytrek from ChicExecs Brand Development for use by 360 Magazine

The Luli Bebe Monaco Bag

Sophisticated, sleek and luxurious, The eco-friendly Monaco backpack-style diaper and travel bags by Luli Bebe are one-of-a-kind. Monaco’s easy-carry and durable design make it the perfect, fashionable companion for everyday on the go use, as well as for weekend getaway or longer travels. These beauties are now available in a variety of posh colors.

Spacious and voluminous, the Monaco bags come in two styles: a backpack, which also functions as a diaper bag, and a classic handle-bag design. The backpack comes in two sizes, original and petite, and can also be worn across a single shoulder or in as a cross body bag. The bags are made of soft vegan, stain-resistant leather and boast a lavish satin-lined interior. Monaco bags will keep all of your travel items and on the go family gear stored in padded luxury. A trip across the country or just down the road is more practical and stylish with a LuliBebé Monaco bag

the Luli Bebe Monaco bag image via Frankie Shirley at HC PR Group, for use by 360 Magazine
Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development image for use by 360 Magazine

Ten Takeaways About Parental Controls

Keeping children safe while still giving them room to grow and develop can feel like a delicate tightrope walk for parents, especially during the pandemic. Parents often wonder when to introduce screens and devices into their children’s lives, what kind of restrictions to enforce, how closely to monitor their kids’ behavior, and how to respect privacy while still looking out for their children’s social, mental, cognitive and physical wellbeing.

To help parents navigate these thorny issues, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development has compiled nine key takeaways from its recent article on parental controls, monitoring apps, and media plans, provided by leaders in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting, which featured several prominent experts in the field. Read on below, and be sure to watch the experts discussing this important topic at the Ask the Experts webinar, “All in the Family: A Conversation about Media Rules, Parental Controls, and Family Media Plans,” which covered the latest evidence-based advice about these topics, and provided practical tips on how to structure and supervise digital media use for years to come. Watch here!

1. WALK THE WALK

Your children are imitating the behavior you model, so start by setting a good example. If you often speak with your children while looking down at your phone, they will do the same. If you are on your tablet first thing in the morning and at the dinner table, they will want to do the same. Establish your household rules, and stick to them yourself.

2. MAKE A PLAN

Take time to speak with your co-parent(s) and establish what matters to you with regard to how your children spend their time at different ages, what their needs are and what they are seeing and doing when they are on a screen. It’s critical for you to consider the whole child, including their social-emotional and physical well-being, and to integrate tech into the larger picture of family life and values. Take a look at existing family media agreements, such as the one posted on the AAP website, and cut and paste what will work for your family and your expectations. Then, pick a moment when everyone is fed, rested, calm, and cooperative to begin a conversation about digital media use.

3. REMOTE THE CONTROL 
Appropriate control of your kids’ devices and the content your kids see will be determined by the age and maturity level of your children, as well as your own values and parenting style. Children benefit from having firm rules around screen time, as well as from seeing healthy attitudes and behaviors regarding screen use modeled by the adults in their lives. If you have younger children or children who are just acquiring a device, you should monitor their use more heavily in order to help them navigate options and make good choices. As your children get older, re-evaluate your strategies and adapt to your unique family needs and circumstances.

4. TALK IT OUT

Depending on their ages, involve your children in the parental control set-up and rule-setting, which models the open and honest conversation and behaviors that you expect from your children. In addition, take the time to speak with your whole family about whether parental control or monitoring apps are right for you, and keep the conversation going throughout use so that you can make adjustments as appropriate. Ongoing discussions aimed at supporting children’s development of self-regulation skills should focus on positive features of the digital world, including learning prosocial digital skills. Encourage your children to share their concerns with or objections to parental controls, and try to address them head on.

5. FIND THE RIGHT TIME

How early is too early? The first three-to-five years of life is a sensitive time for the wiring of children’s brains, so it’s best to delay exposure to screen time as long as possible, and then to select slow, developmentally appropriate shows with minimal screen transitions to avoid overstimulation. In middle childhood, be mindful of your children’s growing brain and your family values, keeping a close eye on the content your children watch and the games they play. Most social media platforms require a minimum age of 13, and experts agree that children under this age should not have their own online accounts.

Most experts agree that teens aged 12-15 are the most vulnerable group for cyber safety risks, so it can be helpful to give children their first personal device at around eleven, so that you can set rules around screen use when your children are more receptive and willing to comply with them. Remember that your job as a parent is to prepare them to be self-regulated, responsible adults; at some point during their teenage years, the time will come for you to loosen your restrictions. The key is to keep the conversation open and consider your teens’ requests for autonomy and agency with an open mind, reminding them what you need to feel comfortable and what they need to do to keep themselves safe.

6. SCREENS AREN’T THE NEW TIME OUT

Experts recommend against using screen time as a punishment or reward, since it can increase your children’s attraction to digital media, and decrease their attraction to other required activities like chores and homework, as well as other fun activities such as reading, sports, or music. In fact, research shows that when families use screen time as a reward for good behavior, children end up engaged in more screen time overall. Sticking to pre-determined boundaries around screen usage, regardless of good or poor behavior, will help children accept your guidelines.

7. UP AND APP’EM

If you decide to choose a monitoring app for your family, there are four key areas to consider: control, coverage, simplicity and value. A helpful app will allow you to specify limits for particular activities and manage devices and apps that don’t require internet data, as well as provide wide coverage, addressing the multi-device and multi-platform reality of family life. It should be simple, providing parents with easy ways to solve complex problems, without long manuals or hours of set-up. Finally, it should provide value, freeing up your time and reducing the amount of arguing about tech.

8. KNOW THE PITFALLS

It’s important to consider the risks of using monitoring apps, including how the data obtained by the control application is being used and stored. Additionally, parental control apps may slow the development of self-regulation skills in children or sidestep the impulse to have open conversations about the positives and negatives of technology, if you rely on technology to control problematic screen usage. In addition, you may wonder whether it is okay to track your children’s locations. If your children feel they are being tracked because you don’t trust them to make good decisions, using GPS tracking technologies will only create more tension in your relationship. If your kids know they are being tracked and feel safer because of it, it can be a helpful and supportive tool. As your children get older and want to find their own independence, it’s vital to be honest and open with them; tell them whether you’re tracking their movements or not, and explain the reasons why. For all of these apps, ask yourself if the reason you feel the need to use parental control apps in the first place is that, deep down, you know your children aren’t actually ready for the device or technology they’re using.

9. SIGN THE CONTRACT

Once you have considered all of the options and taken the time to speak with your co-parent(s) and children, it’s time to make a media plan and/or contract. Both lay out expectations about when, where, and for how long devices can be used, as well as the kind of content that can be consumed. Even though they are designed for children, they are equally helpful for parents, encouraging you to think about ideal situations for your family. Creating a contract allows you the opportunity to address topics you may otherwise not talk about until after there’s already an issue, while allowing your kids to see and understand where your boundaries are.

10. HIT “RESET”

If you are struggling to reach an agreement and convince your children to find a screen-life balance, you are not alone! When it comes to reevaluating your screen time rules and hitting a “reset button,” consider taking a digital detox for twenty-four hours each week, adjusting the whole house rules to include no media use after 10:00pm, putting your phones to bed in a common space, laying the phone down to “take a nap” while you go out for a bike ride, downloading mindfulness apps that remind kids to “stop the scroll”.  No matter your circumstance or how long you’ve had a media plan in place, take time to reconnect and reevaluate frequently and ditch the rules that aren’t working for you and try something new.  You can always keep your children busy the old fashioned way: encourage other activities such as bike riding, a building project, a safe summer camp, a walk, reading a book together, baking a cake – the possibilities are endless!

The Institute wishes to thank the experts who contributed their insights and expertise to “All in the Family: How Parental Controls, Monitoring Apps, and Media Plans can Support Health Digital Media Use,” from which these key takeaways were extracted.

About Children and Screens

Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, see their website.

Back to College by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Emily Green Reinvents Post-Pandemic Education

The COVID-19 pandemic forced students, teachers, and parents to change their ways of doing things almost overnight as schools closed and learning went online. The situation left everyone scrambling – and often grumbling about the limited learning taking place under this hasty reinvention of how schools operate.

But, despite all the downsides, could this moment of school upheaval also be an opportunity to transform the nation’s education system into something better?

In her new book, School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World, author Emily Greene makes the case for just such a transformation as she shares her experiences with her three children and explores ways to encourage curiosity and creativity to create to a radical change in how we approach teaching and learning.

Greene writes: “It often takes a seismic disruption to change the way things have always been done. Before the pandemic, I jokingly said that it would take a cataclysmic world event, like an alien invasion, to truly disrupt education. While I could have never predicted this worldwide pandemic, its absolute disruption of school will change education forever and be studied in the history books for generations to come.”

In this book, readers will learn:

  • How to unlearn the current education system, setting the stage for replacing its outdated methods with creative new ideas that can work better.
  • Why it’s important to embrace the forgotten wonder of unscheduled time, when children can do what they like free from the constraints of school or outside planned activities.
  • How to cultivate children’s natural curiosity, which can lead to limitless opportunities for learning.
  • Why hands-on activities, such as drawing a picture or baking a pie, are critical supplements to the learning that takes place through reading a book or staring at words on a screen.
  • How to help your children follow their heart and find purpose and passion in the world.

About Emily Greene

Emily Greene is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

General Information

Title: School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World

Author: Emily Greene

Genre: Education, Parenting

ISBN-10: 1642252433

ISBN-13: 978-1642252439

Pages: 248                                    

Publisher: Advantage Media Group

remote learning illustration by Kaelen Felix

Remote Learning Tips for Parents

While remote learning can negatively impact motivation, engagement, and curiosity, there are ways to help stressed out students.

Emily Greene suggests 5 things that parents can proactively do at home to help their kids better manage the challenges of the disruption to schooling, and for some, the partial return to in-person learning.

As she writes in her book, “School, Disrupted”, parents can help to uplift and inspire their kids by trying these things, which in turn will also help teachers!

1) Make sure your child has free time/down time every day. This is necessary to activate an important brain network called the Default Mode Network (DMN). Scientists know that the DMN is intricately tied to curiosity, creativity, and imagination which can help boost engagement and motivation in these challenging times.

2) Curate their curiosity. Asking questions stimulates curiosity, which is directly tied to engagement and joy in learning.  Parents can help jostle our children out of the “circle the correct choice” mindset and make way for open-ended questions that are vital to learning. As parents, we can be too quick to provide advice, opinions, and answers. To foster curiosity, try to hold back, ask questions, and listen. In an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Susan Engel of Williams College argues for the promotion of curiosity in schools, calling for a “shift in the way we see the traditional role of a teacher from one who answers questions to one who elicits them.”  Let this be your guiding principle–eliciting questions will uncover a treasure trove of curiosity.

3) Encourage kids to get hands-on. Ask them what they want to create, make, or build. Doing activities that are off the computer and are hands-on engage them in learning in new ways. Other ways to get hands-on are to go outside. Or, take a virtual field trip!

4) As parents, we can also help teachers come up with ideas to integrate more fun and engagement into Zoom-based lessons. Teachers have a tough job right now trying to engage both in-person and remote learners. Sharing Zoom Boosters, (found in Emily’s book) shows that you care and are engaged in being part of the solution.

5) Encourage your child to get creative with their assignments–for example, by self-advocating for choice in projects. If the teacher plans to give a multiple-choice unit test, urge your child to ask if they can make a poster, a brochure, or a podcast covering the subject matter instead. If they are uninspired by the list of writing prompts for a class paper, encourage them to ask the teacher about selecting a personalized prompt that they are more excited to write about. When they are given an assignment, encourage them to ask the teacher, “Can I make a short film for my final? Can I write a short story? Can I put on a play? Can I build a contraption that would demonstrate this principle of physics?” The worst that can happen is the teacher says no—but more often than not, teachers appreciate the initiative because they know it shows a passion for learning during a very tough time due to the pandemic.

Emily Greene (www.emilygreene.com) is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

gun violence image for 360 magazine by Kaelen Felix

Motherhood Does Not Drive Support For Gun Control

A recent study has found that moms are not more likely than other women to support gun control efforts. In fact, this new study finds that parenthood doesn’t have a substantial effect on the gun control views of men or women.

“Everybody ‘knows’ that moms are more politically liberal on gun control issues,” says Steven Greene, corresponding author of the study and a professor of political science at North Carolina State University. “We wanted to know if that’s actually true. And, as it turns out, it’s not true – which was surprising.”

To explore the impact of parenthood on people’s gun control views, the researchers drew on data collected by the Pew Center for Research in 2017 as part of Pew’s nationally representative American Trends Panel. The researchers then used statistical models to account for various confounding variables, such as political affiliation, allowing them to focus specifically on the effect that parenthood has on one’s beliefs regarding gun control.

The Pew surveys had examined a range of issues pertaining to gun control. Across the board, men were substantially more politically conservative than women on questions related to gun laws and regulations. In other words, men were more likely to favor fewer regulations and laxer legal requirements when it comes to guns.

On four of the gun control issues, parenthood had no statistical impact at all – meaning that the positions of moms were no different from the positions of women who weren’t parents, and the positions of dads were no different from the positions of men who weren’t parents. Those four issues pertained to: gun ownership, or how permissive gun ownership laws should be; home safety, or laws pertaining to how guns and ammunition are stored or secured in the home; teachers and guns, or whether school personnel should carry firearms; and whether stricter gun laws would reduce mass shootings.

However, parenthood did have a small – but statistically significant – impact on two other gun control issues.

Mothers were actually more politically conservative than other women on the issue of gun strictness – meaning that moms were slightly more likely to support less restrictive gun laws.

And fathers were more politically conservative than other men on the issue of gun prevalence – meaning they were slightly more likely to believe that more people should be allowed to own guns, and guns should be allowed in more places.

“When we talk about political movements and efforts to change laws, it’s important to have a clear, accurate sense of where people stand on the relevant issues,” Greene says. “Using the potent symbolism of motherhood in America in order advance a political agenda, in this case, is actually ignoring the fact that positions on gun control are virtually identical for women across the board. There is some minor variation, but even there, it actually suggests that mothers are less supportive of restrictive gun laws.

“To be clear, most women – including most moms – support more restrictive gun laws. But it’s not because they’re parents.” In conclusion, there is no true correlation between how adults feel about gun laws and if they are a parent.

The paper, “Do moms demand action on guns? Parenthood and gun policy attitudes,” appears in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. The paper was co-authored by Melissa Deckman, of Washington College; Laurel Elder, of Hartwick College; and Mary-Kate Lizotte, of Augusta University.

“Do moms demand action on guns? Parenthood and gun policy attitudes”

Authors: Steven Greene, North Carolina State University; Melissa Deckman, Washington College; Laurel Elder, Hartwick College; and Mary-Kate Lizotte, Augusta University

Published: Dec. 28, 2020, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties

DOI: 10.1080/17457289.2020.1862130

Abstract: The idea that motherhood primes women to support stronger gun control policy permeates our contemporary politics. Motherhood shapes views on a variety of issues, but the question remains whether mothers hold distinctive views on gun control policies relative to their non-parent peers. We draw on 2017 Pew Research Center data to explore the ways gender, parenthood, and race intersect to shape attitudes on gun policy in the post-Sandy Hook era when gun violence has become prominently linked with schools and children, and during a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has drawn national attention to the relationship of gun violence and racial inequality. Most notably, we find that contemporary depictions of mothers as a distinctively pro-gun control constituency are largely inaccurate. The very real gender gap in gun policy attitudes appears to be falsely attributed to motherhood, rather than gender. We also find very little impact of parenthood for men. Finally, we generally fail to see much relationship between race, parenthood, and gun attitudes. Overall, despite common belief and media reporting to the contrary, the story is very much one where parenthood seems to play little role in gun policy attitudes.

10 Supersmart Superfoods Your Kids Will Love

Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? When you package these superfood hits into a child’s menu you can be sure it’s a surefire way of giving them the nutrients they need and show them great nutrition is just around the corner!

Basil

This superfood packs in vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium and calcium kids can grow their own basil at home. toss it on pasta sauces or pizza! It’s rich in plant chemicals, chlorophyll and other happy mood plant compounds.

Cocoa

Add cocoa powder and honey to kefir for a healthy quick breakfast for kids who won’t sit still to eat a meal. Or a cup of hot cocoa (at least 70 percent pure cocoa) promotes oral health and helps to protect delicate skin from sun damage over time. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder on fruit, snacks and desserts for a healthy punch of flavor. Plant chemicals and antioxidants increase concentration and decrease inflammation!

Black Beans

Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from high cholesterol, they just get checked more often than kids. Black beans help kids keep cholesterol levels down and provide plenty of calcium and protein to boot. Make a tasty black bean dip with some fresh veggies for a fun snack.

 Cinnamon

This superfood is great sprinkled on breakfast foods. it regulates blood sugar, which will keep energy from crashing after breakfast in the middle of a school day, tastes great and is so easy to use. Its natural sweetness is a plus and goes with so many foods and beverages!

Avocado

Avocados are full of good fat. Kids need a daily diet of 30% monosaturated fat and a little avocado a day provides more than enough. Use it like ordinary mayo for a great mix-in to creamy dips and sauces or sliced fresh for an afternoon snack. Guacamole is a no brainer for kids!

Tomato

Here’s a switch, a tomato a day can keep cancer away. That’s right, the plant version of vitamin A can best fight off all kinds of stressors and the potassium they contain helps to boost energy and stabilize hydration. In-season tomatoes are amazing with basil and olive oil or lightly sautee for a very tasty sauce for pasta, fish or veggies!

Fruit

A sweet spot you don’t want to ignore, kids have a natural liking for fruit and its energy-boosting plus. Encouraging eating fruit curbs drinking sugary beverages and snacks. Go for seasonal fun and plan a harvesting trip to a local orchard or bring your kiddies to the local green grocers to pick out what they want. A variety of colors provides kids with essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and fiber to keep their bodies healthy. Introduce your kids to a daily fruit plate at a young age and they will probably continue the habit into adulthood.

Sweet Potatoes

These orange tubers are high in Vitamin A which helps kids develop healthy vision and eyes. And they’re delicious roasted, mashed or baked. For an amazing marshmallow flavor, use vanilla extract and honey for a not to be missed sweet treat.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids that little guys need to grow their brains to their full potential. Buy it ground and sprinkle it over their cereal or add 1/4 cup to their favorite baked-good recipe. They’ll get better nutrition without even knowing it.

Oatmeal

Kids who start their day with oatmeal concentrate better in school all day. oatmeal breaks down slowly to give continual bursts of energy over a long period of time. Add honey, nuts or chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly, for a great way to use oatmeal be sure to check out the recipe section for a granola recipe the whole family will love.

About Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND

Nicolette founded NutriSource Inc. ( www.nutrisource.org )  in 2002 to provide high quality education, counseling and nutrition services for a diverse community population. Prior to founding NutriSource Inc, she served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients. Nicolette was a key member of performance improvement projects and as Chair of the Nutrition Committee; significant positive changes were made in the standard of care. 

 Nicolette has been featured in CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Seventeen, Fitness, Men’s Journal, More, Dr. Oz, Everyday Health, AOL, IVillage, Health, Shape and other magazines. She is also a contributing writer for Minerva Place, as well as an adjunct professor of Nutrition at CUNY and Touro Colleges. She believes in emphasizing a holistic approach toward food, nutrition and preventative healthcare.

Nicolette Pace Demo Reel watch HERE.

 

Parenting Tips During COVID-19

While this summer may look different than you and your family imagined, it can still be a happy, healthy time for growth and positive development. The Children and Screens network of experts is here to help you have the best summer possible with tips for managing summertime with your children and tweens on- and off-screens.

Read on for details, and be sure to tune in to the next “Ask The Experts” interactive webinar series brought to you by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development this coming Friday, June 5th, at noon EDT, when an esteemed panel of experts will talk about how to navigate this unique summer with your school-aged children and teens and answer your questions via Zoom. RSVP here.

The workshop will be moderated by Dr. David Hill, a national authority on Child Development, Hospital Pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine, and the author of the new book Co-parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

  • FIND A BALANCE
    Kids thrive in environments that help regulate their sensory systems—sight, sound, touch, hearing, taste, smell, vestibular, and proprioceptive, among others—because it makes them feel calm and ready to learn. Understand that kids may be using media devices to help regulate sensation when ordinary supports like playgrounds and resource rooms are unavailable. Instead of viewing media use as inherently problematic, work with your child to explore other environments, inside and out, that support their sensory regulation so that media use is just one of many options available to them.         

 -Kristen Harrison, Professor of Communication and Media, University of Michigan

  • KIDS PITCH IN
    Parents need help around the house, and children need variety, so take this summer as an opportunity to show your kids how to pitch in. Cooking, cleaning the car, watering the plants – these all give your child a sense of purpose and new skills they’ll need as they grow up. Plus, it provides a welcome hand for overburdened parents and guardians!                                                                                                           

-Susan Tapert, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, UC San Diego.

  • KEEP IN TOUCH
    As your child progresses from early to middle childhood, peer interactions become even more important. Peer relationships help children develop important skills like cooperation, conflict resolution, emotional management, perspective taking, creativity, and identity presentation. Even if your family is social distancing, encourage your child to engage with other kids. This can be through video chat (e.g., Zoom, FaceTime, Skype), online games (e.g., Minecraft, Roblox), walkie-talkies, or even talking across fences or through windows. Children need social interactions, and peers are important social partners. Even if parks and camps are limited or closed, social interactions should still be encouraged, and the thoughtful use of technology can help facilitate them.                       

 -Stephanie M. Reich, Associate Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine.

  • GO OUTSIDE
    Strangely enough, stay-at-home orders seem to have reminded people how important it is to get outdoors. Being outside is generally regarded as safe, so long as basic public health guidelines are still observed. Playing in nature promotes curiosity, initiative, and creativity, and it’s a great way to take a break from the screen. The Children in Nature Network (CINN) provides resources for parents and guardians who want to promote exploration and unstructured play in backyards, parks, and other wild spaces during the pandemic. With many local and state parks starting to open back up, families can take advantage of this opportunity to instill a lifelong interest in nature.           

-Jayson Seaman, Associate Professor of Outdoor Leadership and Management, University of
New Hampshire.

  • ENCOURAGE EXPLORATION
    It is important to remember that learning happens through interaction with our environment. We learn through what we do. Letting children come up with ideas important to them, avoiding prescribed activities, taking time, and being patient provides space for creativity to emerge. Whatever the activity – whether a walk in the woods, drawing a picture, experimenting with a recipe or what might seem like just fooling around- letting kids, particularly young ones explore in unstructured ways helps them understand their world and cultivate deeper interest.                 

-Stephen Uzzo, Chief Scientist, New York Hall of Science and Adjunct Professor, Teaching and Learning, New York Institute of Technology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • EXPECT AN ADJUSTMENT PERIOD
    Your child has been using screens to fend off boredom, but that’s not all. Screens are an easy way to distract ourselves from all those uncomfortable feelings during a pandemic: Disappointment. Sadness. Anxiety. Fear. Annoyance. Anger. So be sure to build in antidotes, like daily roughhousing, to help kids work through emotions. And you can expect a certain amount of volatility from your child as they begin spending less time with screens, so ratchet up your patience level. But after this transitional time period, you’ll see your child becoming less irritable and aggressive. You’ll notice more initiative, self-discipline and focus when they play. And best of all, you’ll see your child developing their inner life and discovering who they are by playing, learning and engaging with the world, instead of losing themselves to a screen.             

-Laura Markham, Editor of Ahaparenting.com, Author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start  Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

  • USE YOUR TOOLS
    Families can find a great tool to help them have a screen-use discussion with their kids by checking out the interactive Family Media Use Plan
    at HealthyChildren.org. Not sure how much time your kids really have? Would it help to have some visuals? It’s all there!   

-David L Hill, Hospital Pediatrician at Goldsboro Pediatrics, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine, and the author of the new book Co-parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

  • DETOX FROM SCREENS
    Consider setting aside a full day (perhaps Saturday or Sunday) as screen-free time. If you can’t commit to a day, at least try a designated evening. This regular break allows children to do a “screen detox” and creates a void to be filled with other activities. Not a bad routine for the whole family to do together.   

-Daniel G. Shapiro, M.D., Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

  • FAMILY FUN WITH MEDIA
    When you do watch media, make it a family affair. We know from research that when children and caregivers watch screens together, children are more likely to learn from what they are viewing. So, bring out the popcorn and have a special movie night, or designate some time during the day when you can sit down and watch educational media together to help make it a positive experience for kids. Children are more likely to learn from what they are viewing if you direct them to specific content (“Elmo is red”) and make it relatable (“that car is blue, we have a blue car too!”).  For older children, you can get them talking or thinking about what’s on the screen by asking engaging, open ended questions (“The dragon seems upset, why do you think that is?”). When family screen time is over, try to engage children in offline activities that get them playing or moving, to help keep their brains and bodies healthy.             

-Sheri Madigan, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development, Associate Professor, University of Calgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

“Just as resources have been recently prioritized to the transition from work to home,” says Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, “for the foreseeable future, parents need to explore new avenues and adapt their child-rearing techniques to best serve their children’s needs in an uncertain and challenging milieu. It is a lot of ask, especially with fewer outside resources, less time, near constant change, circumscribed opportunities and, on top of it, the constant allure of screen time for everyone, but the payoff is worth the extra effort. We are here to support parents in coping with the new reality.”