Lower School Director Leslie Hosey, Ph.D. ♦ Friday, October 6, 2017
A few weeks ago I attended a webinar entitled, Parenting Adventures in the Digital Realm: From Surviving to Thriving by Claudia L’Amoreaux. There is no shortage of headlines to terrify parents about the impact of technology on children, which is why the discussion and resources offered in this webinar are so timely, helpful and reassuring. I found hopeful lessons in creating responsibility and limits around the use of technology, including the following:
- Technology has the ability to connect us with wonderment, and can be used in the service of well-being.
- We can use the technique of co-creating conversations with our children to clarify our values and visions, build a family culture, create mindfulness, and a means to choose and reflect.
- Resisting the siren song of technology is not about developing will power. Rather, it is the recognition that for every app there are one thousand designers working to break down our self-regulatory systems. Family conversations that make this knowledge explicit allow us to engage in choice.
- “…the ability to ask beautiful questions, often in very unbeautiful moments, is one of the great disciplines of human life.” –David White
- Investigation is the means to personal responsibility. Understanding how things work is the necessary counterbalance to the pull of technology.
It is easy to feel helpless and fearful to the point of paralysis. It’s reassuring to know that we as parents continue to have tremendous influence over technology, and that we are not alone in confronting the impact of the digital age. The following resources are worth exploring:
- Claudia L’Amoreaux’s website, Mindful Digital Life: Grounded in Nature and Connection: http://www.claudialamoreaux.com/
- Tech Talk Tuesdays provides guidance for holding weekly, calm conversations around a variety of topics: https://www.screenagersmovie.com/tech-talk-tuesdays?category=Distraction
- This Washington Post article by Melissa Gates provides resources to understand the impact of technology, and strategies to develop a family culture to minimize negative impact: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/08/24/melinda-gates-i-spent-my-career-in-technology-i-wasnt-prepared-for-its-effect-on-my-kids/?utm_term=.e5de4f399f99
Through the “slow app” of conversation and asking beautiful questions we can confront the intrusion of technology, affirm a culture of empathy and wonderment which technology can support, and strengthen our community of compassion for ourselves and each other.
Best to all,