How to Protect Your Kids from the Harmful Effects of Device Dependency
The implications of our children spending more time on devices during this pandemic are nothing to ignore.
Right now, our sons and daughters may be in front of screens more than ever out of necessity, or desperation. It’s crucial that we, as parents, cultivate conversation and create boundaries in our homes to help protect our sons and daughters from the harmful effects of device dependency during this time.
We cannot stick our heads in the sand and hand over digital devices to our kids without understanding the ramifications of doing so.
Tom Kersting, a nationally renowned psychotherapist, speaker, and author just released his new book Disconnected full of information and tips we need to lead our children well when it comes to technology and addictive devices.
Take the time to listen to my discussion with Tom about his new book and what it is we parents need to know as we enter into this new school year on screens and beyond!
Get Amy’s Family Cellphone Contract HERE
Get Tom’s Book- Disconnected HERE
Listen to Amy’s interview- Intentionally Raising Kids on Devices- on Tom’s Reconnected Parent Podcast HERE
Check out Tom’s website HERE
As you said, many are sick of this conversation, yet the more it fades into the background, the more addicted we ALL get. I just our oldest of 4 to college (out of state, like you!) and while I am not so worried about her, the 3 I have at home are on screens way too much, especially now that school just started… online! I have a son in 6th grade who is into Minecraft and Roblox and other games he can play with and interact online with his friends (when the weather is not nice enough to be outside with friends, this is all the social time we can offer!) I also feel as if my husband and I are not totally on the same page, and he does not think about the future/potential ramifications of the screen time, and I know your book would be an incredible tool to begin the conversation and gather the facts and info needed to make a definitive decision about screen time rules in our house going forward. Thanks for all you contribute to parents and families everywhere 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind reply! It’s so important for us to gather the tools and educate ourselves while raising our kids! As much as I would love to stick my head in the sand and ignore the issues with screens, I also know I want to empower all of us to make the best choices we can when it comes to technology.
Janice, you are our winner for this month’s Disconnected Book Giveaway! Check your email for details. Thanks to everyone who entered and keep your eyes open for October’s related product giveaway!
I have tried to keep my kids playing outside and swimming as much as possible. Trying to limit TV for all 4 of them as much as possible. Would love some new ideas to keep the course!
Awesome Erin! You sound like me in that I always want to keep myself educated on these important topics while raising my kids! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Over the summer, we loosened up our screen-time limits due to the pandemic and I’ve been having a difficult time wrangling them back in. Also, I’m most worried about my youngest son, as all he wants to do is either play video games or talk about the games. Thank you for offering this great giveaway!
Hi Shelly! Oh boy, I can hardly stand listening to my son talking about these video games! AAHHH! I know- it’s hard strengthening back up the tech boundaries for sure. Tom’s book really helps me realize why I have to though. Thanks for reading and commenting!
My daughter has become quite fond of Roblox, Sims, Netflix and the like on her tablet. She also loves her Switch. I’d love some ideas on helping her, and us, deal with all of this!
Oh yes! Our youngest is quite fond of Roblox and Netflix as well. Hard to know how to navigate him being on a screen all day for school and then doing screens afterward in his free time. Figuring out the boundaries on that now…. Thanks for reading and commenting!
My first grader spends 7 hours on a computer for school now. Its horrible but necessary. Its more important than ever to have tools and to not just accept that you have to have more screen time.
Hi Jake! We’ve got the same thing going on over here in our house, yet that must be so difficult for a 1st grader! Wow! Thanks for reading and commenting!
I want to protect my twin almost 14 month old boys from becoming addicted to screens. I hope my love of binging isn’t genetic, lol.
Ha! Well, you need to get this book for you so by the time your sons are of ‘screen-age’ you will be ready to go 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! Enjoy those little guys. It somehow does go fast, although I know it doesn’t feel like it for you now!
As a mom, I try to stress the importance of balance and that the more time kids spend in front of a screen means less time they are engaging in other activities, even downtime, which means lost opportunities for growth, development and self understanding. It is hard to find ways to both help them understand and to encourage them to want to approach their day this way. A book such as Disconnected: How to Protect Your Kids From the Harmful Effects of Device Dependency seems like the perfect resource to help in this area.
Thanks for reading and commenting Teri! Sometimes I like to use books like Disconnected to open up a dialogue with my kids so I can show them what experts are saying and discuss why we are putting parameters on our screen use, etc.
Our teenagers are automatically drawn to technology because it helps them feel connected about what is going with friends and the world . It would be great to have help knowing how to help them balance technology and their lives without feeling complete dependency on their devices .
Yes, Nicole technology certainly helps us all feel more connected I think, and overall has been a blessing during this time of quarantine. Tom recently retired from being a high school counselor so he has seen how screens are negatively impacting kids. So important!
I would love to get a copy of this book! I have a pre-teen and teen, and it has been a challenge to ensure that they have a balance of screens (especially with online schooling), exercise, and social/family time. I would appreciate learning more about how to keep a good balance in my kids’ lives.
Yes, Michelle! That’s the goal! Hard to achieve, but certainly worth fighting for. Thanks for commenting!
I took the advice of buying alarm clocks for my kids and taking their phones at night but before school started again they had more freedom and now it’s hard to get them back into the routine without a struggle.
Hi Monica! For sure, we too have to struggle through reclaiming our foundational tech principles in our homes after so much freedom! Thanks for taking the time to comment!
I have 3 boys 19,16, and 11. The older two boys didn’t get phones until mid 8th grade year. And now my 11 year old knows what to expect and it is not even an issue. I have friends with 11 and 12 years olds that are constant dealing with social media issues with there kids because of the easy access with there phones. However, right now getting that phone out of the bedroom at night is the big issue at my house. There is constantly something! Great interview. I am going to get his latest book.
Shea, that’s the same struggle I’m having over here in our household! What don’t you understand about no phones in the bedrooms people?! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to comment!
I really would love to read this book, as my kids are currently ages 5 and 7 and I know that the older they get, the more of a challenge it will be to minimize screen time. Having to learn remotely for school this (hybrid), I fear will make it even more challenging. How can I set expectations around screen time? How can I educate my children so they know WHY it’s good to minimize screen time and empower them to make their own choices around screen time as they get older.
I love your proactive thinking Michelle! Your kids are a perfect age to begin thinking about all of this now and how you want things to be in the future. You will have a much easier time. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Hi Amy, I just found your website and ordered your book. This topic is hot right now and my youngest child is 16 and her phone is like an extension of her during Covid. I’ve curtailed her screen time during the school week but allow her over the weekend so she can communicate with her friends. I’d love to read this book!
Hi Barbara! I’m so glad you are here! It can be very difficult trying to help our daughters understand WHY they need boundaries on their screens. Good for you for fighting the good fight! Thanks for reading and commenting.