Digital devices can be so helpful and entertaining it’s easy to forget what they don’t do to help kids grow up to be self-reliant, durable adults. In fact, many tech-savvy school kids are doing strange things like losing their balance on chairs, bumping into other kids in the hallways, and bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. Occupational therapy researcher Angela Hanscom, author of Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children, also reports that core strength among children has plummeted. A big reason? They just don’t get enough rough and tumble.
These non-tech gifts supplement kids’ digital pursuits: Continue reading
Parents want to raise well-rounded kids who are comfortable in their own skin and with navigating in the natural and digital worlds. These advice books help parents and other care-givers to achieve that goal or to care for themselves in the process.
The sensible guide to raising digital citizens we’ve all been waiting for, Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World finally gets how kids use technology and how parents can support their efforts.
Author Devorah Heitner is thoroughly respectful of both sides of the equation and never talks down to, judges, or belittles anyone. Her book is chock-full of practical use-‘em-now tips and she gently instructs and builds the confidence of kids’ first and best digital mentors: their parents. This book doesn’t just skim the surface, it gets gritty and granular, supplying the words and tools we all need.
Among Heitner’s most important points:
- Choose mentoring your child over simply monitoring what they do online.
- Have clear, consistent boundaries and explain them to your kids.
- Pay attention when your kids need you, or as Heitner says, “Be here now.” Why that’s absolutely crucial.
Another must-read, Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children supplements Screenwise by Continue reading
If digital gadgets and games are designed to attract and keep kids’ attention, the nation’s pediatricians are pushing back with their own design.
“The goal is to give parents, and everybody really, a visual of how a child’s day maps out and we can really understand what affects the balance in their lives and what you need to do to have a balanced lifestyle,” says Corinn Cross, MD, FAPP, who came up with the idea for the Media Time Calculator, a major piece of the American Academy of Pediatrics new Family Media Plan. The recommended times for sleep and physical activity are set by default.
The idea, says Dr. Cross, is to help families make time decisions based on their own needs and priorities. “We don’t want media use to be the driving force, but just to fill in gaps.”
Check out this 3-minute demo of the Calculator. You can see how time available to spend on screen-based entertainment quickly disappears:
If durable human design is “the making and doing of things that promote and advance one’s ability to be an effective, contributing human in a complex and increasingly digital world,” the Media Time Calculator certainly qualifies.
To learn more about how to embrace your own nature as you live in harmony with your technology, take a look at How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design.
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The big “D” in TED stands for Design, alongside Technology and Entertainment. These designs—from TEDxMidAtlantic—foster curiosity, collaboration, and fact-based knowledge. They help people to be more durable in a complex and increasingly digital world.
One design is an object:
The Hemafuse was presented by Carolyn Yarina, CEO of the medical device company Sisu Global Health. The handheld blood recycler is especially useful in Continue reading