Dr. S DR. S

Children, Parents and Technology



ARCHIVE

Robots as Women

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article The time is soon, place here, and regular people are tethered to technology "alone together", as Sherry Turkle quips. It is a world where the interactive virtual realities we ourselves create can bewitch us into epidemics of addictive perversions and obsessions. Her can make it nicely as a cute basic romantic comedy: Sensuous virgin (Samantha, voice of Scarlett Johansson) seduces older "sensitive man" (Theodore, Joachim Phoenix), and gloriously comes of age sexually. She thinks she is in love. He knows he is, but he is not ever really sure. Their inevitable differences begin to grow, and
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Neuroscience and Psychiatry: The Roots of Humane Mental Health Care

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article These ideas are worth bearing in mind as parity for mental health coverage and major healthcare reform take us into uncharted waters. Our brains give us language, and used expertly it can be an awesome neuroscience tool. In fact, the profession that trained me -- modern psychiatry -- was first built on the careful and caring art of listening to speech and language in all their nuances and responding in kind as a central element of psychiatric practice. Medical and non-medical psychology pioneers have worked brilliantly and diligently for over a century to free the
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Principles for Parenting the Touchscreen Generation

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Origianal Article Children need us to manage their experiences interacting with media. Parents need basic ideas to guide them.
More and more, recent press coverage is now exploring the new explosive trend in younger age groups consuming interactive media via touchscreens. "Is this trend a menace or boon?" is what people wonder, and the answer is usually a reasonable "Maybe a boon, but we need more research." And there follow debates among experts. This is hardly helpful. Parents cannot wait for the science to catch up because they urgently need an answer to "How do we effectively parent
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Alert to Colleagues: Hypo-Professionalism in Psychiatry

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article Report from the field: This personal chronicle of one doctor's recent journeys into some corners of his profession, currently rarely noticed by most colleagues and the public, illuminates issues now in the news with grave implications for all our futures. Some solutions to the basic conflict between the need to create billable records and the delivery of competent language-based psychiatric care are offered, including development of IT systems. In the popular mind, mental hospitals may be pictured as gracious rural spas where gentle platitudes and long rests restore people; or as snake pits filled with
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Tots: You Are Failing Us. We Need You To Manage Our Digital Media Lives Better

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article As younger and younger kids use powerful new technologies, parents and educators must learn to manage these interactions more systematically and effectively. Three-year-old David recently had such a major tantrum on board a passenger plane when his father yanked the iPad in his lap to turn it off and click his seatbelt for take-off, that the aircraft returned to the gate to kick him off (http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/02/3-year-old-kicked-off-airplane-for-crying/?iid=ec-main-mostpop2?iid=ec-main-mostpop2). Not a surprising event these days. The child might say,"No fair. You get to use and enjoy the
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Kids & Families Coping with Disaster

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article

Helping Children (and Yourself) Cope with Natural and Other Disasters and Terror Attacks

Eitan D. Schwarz, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A., F.A.A.C.A.P. FEINBERG SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY CHICAGO, IL Disasters raise hard questions for children (and grownups, too). Before, during and after the event, even kids far away ask "How can I be sure that this won't happen to me or to my parents? Why? What can I do?" When grownups live through or witness violent manmade or natural events, they often cannot come up with answers that put them entirely at ease. They may
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Dr. S Opinion: Are “Crib Robots” Good For Babies?

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article Brilliantly engineered, intelligent, cute, engaging "Crib Robots" will soon be marketed for infants and toddlers, but will most likely affect brain wiring for core personality and other human qualities. Avoid such devices, despite the fascination, until we know they are safe in the long run.

According to recent NY Times stories, major toy companies are developing and introducing interactive digital media for babies and toddlers (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/technology/in-a-fisher-price-lab-apps-are-childs-play-prototype.html?_r=2http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/after-14-years-furby-has-returned/?nl=technology&emc=cta4_20120712#comments),

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/29/science/brainlike-computers-learning-from-experience.html?emc=edit_tnt_20131228&tntemail0=y&_r=0

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/technology/if-our-gadgets-could-measure-our-emotions.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

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Skout, Social Media, and Other Online Risks by Children and About Becoming Entrepreneurs

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article Teen risk-taking is biologically rooted and precedes the entrepreneurship we need as a society. While online evils cannot be totally avoided, parents and teachers must start teaching good judgement in consuming media from the early years as they do traffic safety, hygiene, and later, good driving. As a veteran child psychiatrist, I know that the generic cause of tragic incidents such as Skout's and that well-dramatized in David Schwimmer's "Trust" ultimately cannot be completely prevented. From an evolutionary and neuroscience / psychology POV, teens are necessarily hard-wired and socially sanctioned to be "entrepreneurial", as are most
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Google Glasses and Wearable Computers: Parents, Are You Ready for New Kids’ Technology Crazes?

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article Going gaga for Google goggles is yet another spectacle we can look forward to, centered in our youth pop culture. What is your strategy as a parent? As you see this coming, are you going to just react or be proactive? Dr. S' answer is to anchor all media consumption in a systematic way at home. Google unveiled today (and Apple will soon follow) yet another forward-looking technology device -- voice-commanded eyeglasses with lenses that are actually transparent screens to display online digital images (and probably eventually also sound from the earpieces). These are a new
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Old iPads for Kids or Donate to Schools

Posted April 9, 2014
Link to Original Article The new iPad will replace older models. While the market for the iPad 2 will thrive, giving your old model could benefit lots of children. Here are ideas about how to use the hand- me- downs. * Because little actual data are available for the safety and efficacy of interactive tablets, parents must not leave preschoolers unsupervised. In fact, the best use of iPads for these youngsters is to promote family interactivity, and the worst is alone-time with the device. * Expectations: "Setting expectations and attitudes is an essential first step that may take some time,
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