with Chris Willard and Mark Bertin
Are we using our digital devices or being used by them?
An old saying goes “The thinking mind can be our greatest servant or our most terrible master.” We might apply to same saying to our relationship with our screens.
Modern technology can be exhausting and stress inducing for any of us. The challenge of setting boundaries around media bedevils parents and child professionals in particular, battling to maintain common sense limits while seeking balance between media as a resource and entertainment.
This vital role for adults isn’t trivial, as increased screen time has been linked to everything from academic problems to obesity, early drinking to disturbances in executive function. In fact, strong adult commitment to moderating and managing media alone has been linked to social, behavioral and academic success.
This talk from Drs. Mark Bertin and Christopher Willard will provide an overview of media research alongside practical, family friendly tools that will support cognitive development, academic success and long term well being in children. Children and teens in general don’t have the capacity of adults to manage media and are highly influenced by content and marketing in ways parents do not always recognize. Because of ADHD-related self-regulatory difficulties, those with ADHD are at increased risk for unhealthy and impulsive choices. In fact, research into the effects of media closely mirrors those regarding the risk of having ADHD alone. Behavioral, academic, and lifestyle effects of ADHD parallel the troubling results of unregulated media use. Because media can exacerbate ADHD-related issues, children with ADHD require more vigilance than others to protect them from its effects.
To prevent long term concerns, parents must be clear about the role of media in their home. Only clear limits alongside healthy adult media usage will provide children the tools required to develop a healthy lifestyle around media. Children with ADHD are at higher risk to be influenced by media, and less likely to make skillful choices on their own. Focusing on awareness and clear, objective decision making, this talk will provide parents the information they need to make informed and proactive choices in their homes.
This session takes the stance that technology is neither good nor bad, but how we use it and teach our children to use it is what matters. We will explore the downsides to misuse of technology, as well as the benefits of learning to use technology more mindfully and intentionally. This session will provide an overview of recent media research, as well as offering engaging and practical and realistic ways to use mindfulness and common sense to return technology to its rightful place as a useful tool that we use, rather than being used by it.
Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD) is a psychologist and educational consultant based in Boston specializing in mindfulness with young people. He has been practicing meditation for nearly 20 years, and leading workshops internationally on the topic of mindfulness with young people. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Wsshington Post, mindful.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010) Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017) and three other books. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Bertin is a developmental pediatrician and author of How Children Thrive (2018), Mindful Parenting for ADHD and The Family ADHD Solution, the last two of which integrate mindfulness into the rest of evidence-based ADHD care. He is also a contributing author for the book Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens. Dr. Bertin is a faculty member at New York Medical College and the Windward Teacher Training Institute, and on the advisory boards for the non-profits Common Sense Media and Reach Out and Read. His blog is available through Huffington Post, Mindful.org and Psychology Today. For more information, please visit his website at www.developmentaldoctor.com.