Earlier this month, Dr. Lisa Lombard, OSP school psychologist and Kathleen Jensen, OSP Academic Technology Coordinator, hosted the talk Family Life, Behavior, and Technology where parents had the opportunity to learn more about how to manage technology in the home. With the rapid changes in technology, parents often feel challenged to “keep up”. By establishing consistent rules and limits and emphasizing that all screen time is not created equally, a foundation is set to help parents manage their children’s expectations.

“Although screen time is often associated with being sedentary and disengaged, there are also some benefits,” said Kathleen Jensen. The following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics about screen time, as well as these specific suggestions for parents and caregivers were emphasized during the talk:

  • Parents should promote good citizenship online.
  • Parents need to model the importance of connecting with the people around them by putting down their own devices.
  • Don’t make screen time the reward or consequence.

Technology is enormously appealing to kids, but when we make screen time the go-to thing kids get for good behavior — or get taken away for bad behavior — it becomes even more desirable to children and increases the chances that a child will overvalue it.

In honor of National Body Image Awareness month, HNC hosted guest speaker Leslie Goldman who shared insights about the connection between social media and body image. Ms. Goldman is a Chicago-based image activist who writes and speaks on understanding how media, in its many forms, influences our feelings of self-confidence and self-worth. Ms. Goldman gave an afternoon presentation to 7th and 8th grade students and spoke with parents at a separate evening event. Goldman encouraged students and parents to look critically at even “candid” images.

To continue this conversation at home, families can do things like take an inventory of all media in the house—do the magazines you have in the home have messages in images and words that you don’t want to perpetuate? Or, look at the images your children are seeing on apps like Snap Chat and Instagram or on TV and movies and have discussions about what is staged, filtered or in any other way changed or enhanced. To learn more about this important topic,   we recommend the following resources for families:

Doctoring images of women

Doctoring images of men

The messages and images that bombard our children

Common Sense Media Boys and Girls and Media Messages

Common Sense Media How Girls are Seeking and Subverting Approval Online

Common Sense Media The Ugly Truth Behind Pretty Pictures



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