Empowering Parents: Tools for You and Your Teens
Monday, October 2, 2023
*Read to the end!*
The role of parents, guardians and educators has evolved into that of digital mentors and coaches, guiding our children through the complex landscape of technology. As a seasoned educator with over two decades of experience in the classroom, and mother of 3 now teens, I've witnessed firsthand the profound impact of technology on education and child development, both the positive and the negative. My journey from being a parent, to being in the traditional classroom, to harnessing the digital realm, has equipped me with a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital age.
A Passion for Digital Citizenship
My passion for digital citizenship ignited during my time at 1:1 device schools (this means every child is either a school issued or BYOD device to use throughout the day). From 2012, my first 1:1 iPad school, and over the next 10 years, my experiences provided a front-row seat to the digital transformation of education. Technology wasn't going away. We were spending a lot of time upskilling teachers on how to implement devices into teaching meaningfully and with purpose, but we lost sight of the needs of the parents and students when it came to how to implement these devices into our lives, both at school and at home. I played a pivotal role in developing and rolling out digital citizenship programs for thousands of students, seeing the need for guidance for everyone, including staff, parents and students. Here we were, handing out devices, but not really looking at whether or not we were equipping our kids with another important tool...digital literacy/media literacy. These initiatives aimed not only to teach responsible online behavior but also to empower young minds to harness technology for learning and creativity.
From Digital Citizenship to Digital Wellness
While digital citizenship is vital, I soon realized that there was an equally pressing need for digital wellness education. With the proliferation of screens in our kids' daily lives, concerns about screen time, online safety, and the impact of technology on mental health became prevalent among parents and staff. Even me, as a parent of three teens, struggled in my own home, and I was tired of the arguing, banning and blocking. I wanted conversations and understanding. I wanted to help equip parents and kids with habits that would bring them together over technology, not tear them apart. While digital citizenship is important, there's also the aspects of mental health, productivity, physical health, and so much more, when online.
This realization led me on a journey to become a certified Digital Wellness Educator. My mission evolved to focus on not only fostering responsible digital citizens but also nurturing a generation of young people who could thrive in the digital age while maintaining their well-being.
Valuable Resources for Families
Understanding the concerns parents face, I took everything I know about pedagogy, inquiry and child learning, and developed resources specifically tailored to address these challenges. I want to take a moment to explain each one, as digital wellness isn't yet mainstream, which means parents don't exactly know what it is or how it can help.
Ebook: "Top Digital Habits Every Tween and Teen Should Know"
This comprehensive guide equips parents with actionable insights to promote responsible device use and open communication within the family. It's a roadmap to help your tweens and teens navigate the digital world safely and confidently. It's a guide full of:
Whether your tweens and teens tackle it solo, you use it as a guide to help your kids, or your family works through it together, this ebook is your roadmap to empower your children to navigate the digital world safely and confidently.
My digital wellness course takes a deep dive into critical topics from:
screen time management
fostering healthy relationships with technology
maintaining mental well-being
It's designed to empower both parents and their children with practical strategies to thrive in the digital age. The course is meant to take 6 meaningul weeks, allowing time to practice the strategies, do the homework and engage in all of the activities I provide each week. It's asynchronous too, which means there's no pressure to fit it into your already busy schedules within a certain amount of time.
My weekly blog serves as a valuable, free resource for parents seeking insights, tips, and the latest research on digital wellness. Each post delves into critical issues, providing guidance and solutions that can benefit your family immediately.
Why These Resources Matter
Creating a Common Ground: The ebook and course provide a common language for families to discuss digital habits. By starting these conversations, parents can better understand their children's digital experiences.
Empowering Digital Confidence: With knowledge comes confidence. The resources empower both parents and children to navigate the digital world with awareness and purpose.
Fostering Open Communication: By addressing concerns and setting guidelines together, parents and their tweens/teens can strengthen their relationships and build trust around digital issues.
In essence, the resources are rooted in the belief that technology should be a tool for empowerment, learning, and connection. It's my privilege to share this knowledge with parents, helping them guide their children toward responsible, balanced, and mindful digital lives. Together, we can navigate this digital world with confidence and foster a generation of responsible and resilient digital citizens.
If you missed out on last week's promotion for the ebook and course, here's another one just for you, for readers of my blog only. For the next 24hrs, I will be offering 15% off of my ebook and course. For the course, use the coupon code '15OFFCOURSE', and for the ebook, use coupon code '15OFF'.