After a decade of significant technological change with an emphasis on online safety, it’s obvious digital tools profoundly affect families in their daily lives.
Dr. Eitan Schwarz, a veteran Chicago child-psychiatrist uses media as play therapy in his practice and addresses this issue in his book, KIDS, PARENTS & TECHNOLOGY: A GUIDE FOR YOUNG FAMILIES as well as online at http://mydigitalfamily.org.
The steady flow of technology is impacting family relationships, causing some to become media-saturated. Oftentimes parents don’t know how to manage the available technology. Dr. S’ book discusses how parents can apply hand-held gadget use, Web site interaction, video game play and more to bring families together while promoting healthy child development.
“Kids need healthy media diets now to create nourishing futures. Otherwise, kids will consume junk media as they do junk food,” Dr. S.
“In fact”, remarks Dr. S,“Parents tell me that they are left frustrated and without a comprehensive approach and practical tools – they don’t know what to do. They are very concerned and, many try to restrict access and time which can cause unnecessary conflict.”
Dr. S applies principles of good parenting to home technology consumption, giving parents a comprehensive, hands-on set of tools that will integrate technology into good parenting practices. As new devices emerge, parents need to be able to make smart decisions about how to use them in their homes and in their children’s hands, the same way they make choices about education, recreation and nutrition.
“Parents need to commit themselves to learn about technology and use it as they do other home appliances . Technology gadgets need to be integrated into family life and aid in children’s development,” Dr. S commented.
Dr. Schwarz is a pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist who is known as Dr. S. He is a veteran clinician on the faculty of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.