Category Archives: Technology

Do You Think You Might Be Addicted To Your Phone?

  Have you noticed that as soon as there is a question in casual conversation today, something like: I wonder what the weather is doing tomorrow? Does anyone know what happened in the hockey last night? Oh, what’s the name of the singer in Coldplay, the one who…. What is a philatelist Dad? … that someone will immediately pull out their phone or call Google or Siri to come up with the answer. Not so long ago the conversation would have gravitated to discussing the question and perhaps even coming up with an answer. Well, maybe not for the weather but for many other things! But today, we just can’t wait. We want the answer NOW. And it’s denying children to develop the capacity to delay gratification and tolerate frustration. The person who gets their phone out to find the answer inevitably ends up quickly checking on something else and before you know it, everyone else has their phone out too! But it’s more than this. It’s a complete conversation stopper. And it’s denying children the capacity to develop the skills to hold a conversation in the real world. After everyone has paused to listen to what Google or Siri …Read more →

Do You Struggle With Feeling Disrespected?

  In a previous post, I discussed the relationship between boundaries and respect. The two are so closely related to each other that if you haven’t read it, I suggest you read it before going any further. You can find it HERE It’s called: One Of The Most Important Parenting Skills Required Today. Suffice to say that if you are feeling disrespected, you are not alone but you probably think that it is others in your life that are causing you the disrespect you feel? Yes? It might not be that simple! Stick with me here, it will soon become much clearer. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get it right. You know you should be able to set effective boundaries and hold the limits around screen time AND other things too, but as hard as you try, more often than not, the boundary you set is ineffective. You say YES when you know you should say NO. You say NO and wonder why you did! The pushback you get from your child causes you to either cave or put your foot down too hard. You don’t listen to what it is you really need and don’t …Read more →

One Of The Most Important Parenting Skills Required Today

  One of the most important parenting skills required today is the ability to set boundaries and hold the limits. In order to do this well, it is vitally important that you understand the relationship between boundaries and respect. Stay with me here, all will become clear. Boundaries and respect. Respect and boundaries. Chicken or the egg? Why are we talking about respect, I want to create killer boundaries around screen time and other things! I bet you’ve never really thought about respect and boundaries in the same breath. Believe me, neither had I! However, it is only when you understand the close relationship between these two things, that you will be able to shift from being so-so at setting boundaries and crap at holding the limits to being good at setting boundaries and kickass good at holding the limits. Boundaries alone are not enough. I’m going to generalize here, but, most of us moms are not bad at setting “the boundary” ie. saying what needs to be done. But sadly that’s often where it ends! It’s the next piece that gets us: we are not so great at holding the limits. You know the story, as soon as you …Read more →

Shaping Our Children’s Digital Behaviour

At the beginning of the year when I was putting together this annual parent coaching plan for you I had penciled in “Technology” as being the topic we would explore for July. Over the last week, having spoken to many parents, my hunch was right. Many of you are concerned about how you are going to manage your children’s screen diets during the holidays. With that in mind, welcome July, welcome to the holidays and welcome to the huge subject of Screens and Devices and how we can find ways to live with technology so that we control it and it does not control us. It’s a tough one… Having read books on the subject, advice column after advice column and blog after blog on this topic, there is undoubtedly a lot of great information out there on this subject. However, in many of the “solutions” and “tips” offered on how to manage the impact of this on our family lives, I find that there is often one key piece of information that is missing – the profound effects of role modeling.  More often than not, these “writings” imply that it is our children who have the problem. I believe that …Read more →

Summertime With Screen Time. The Sad Truth For Today’s Moms

Why do I get so upset when my kids are on their devices? It makes me feel so exasperated, deflated, de-energized. Seeing them plugged in, with their headphones on feeling good about being a virtual hero depresses me. Seeing them judge themselves with hearts on Instagram is numbing for me as a Mom. Do you find yourself in battles with your kids over their device use and feeling this way too? My three kids don’t even spend much time on their devices and yet I continue to get wound up by it. Having given it a fair amount of thought, there are two reasons why I think it affects me like this. The first one being that I know just how harmful and addictive too much of it can be. I know just how much it can negatively influence their developing sense of identity. But for me it’s more than that. It boils down to the fact that no matter how interesting the content, looking at a screen just doesn’t cut it for ME and therefore I can’t understand why kids love it so much! And why they would choose it over other exciting, real, in person activities. It just …Read more →

The “MEDIA DIET” of the average 8 – 18 Year Old Child

Off the back of reading and presenting to you the 9 part blog series on the wonderful book, “Parenting Well in a Media Age” by Gloria DeGaetano, I thought I would be interesting to present some statistics on screen use and the influence of the media on our children’s lives. The majority of the facts presented here are taken from The Kaiser Family Foundation Study of Jan 2010 called: “Generation M – Media in the Lives of 8 – 18 Year Olds”. This data is reflective of US youth and the data was gathered between 1999 and 2009. We all know and recognize just how much more prolific and pervasive the effects of media are today as compared with even 2009 and it would be very interesting to see what these figures would actually be today? It’s only 5 years on, but my guess is that the stats would most probably be even more staggering! The opening paragraph, a summary from this study, is as follows: “A national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that with technology allowing nearly 24-hour media access as children and teens go about their daily lives, the amount of time young people spend with …Read more →


Why is it that the limits we set on device use just don’t seem to hold up? My kids just will not stop playing games on their devices All they seem to want to do is play games They say everything else is boring Whenever there is a spare minute, they turn to their device Over the years, I have observed many families and listened to many frustrated parents voicing their concerns regarding the influence that games and devices have on their family and the conclusion that I have come to is as follows: It would seem that the families who have more routine and structure, set fair limits and boundaries and adhere to them, and whose children face the consequences for their actions, appear to have children who are more able to tow the line and accept the limits imposed on them. In other words, these children have learned to live within them and have developed some capacity to tolerate the frustration that this brings them. There is a resignation within these kids that “that’s that, it’s just the way it is and there is no point arguing about it”. What I observe is that the family’s who are …Read more →

Managing the Challenges of Parenting in a Digital World

How long should they be allowed to play? When should they play? Where should they play? How do I control what they are doing? These are all questions we get asked by parents regularly. There is no “black and white” answer because we all have different values and opinions regarding this. Think about what children are not doing as a result of being on their devices – this is more the problem…..they are playing at the park less, spend less time interacting with other children, have less time for creative play, spend less time reading and drawing, have less time for playing sport and simply have less time to just be children. Creating the right balance is key. The digital world plays a huge part in our everyday lives, it is here to stay and as such we have to embrace it for all it has to offer and teach our kids how to manage it appropriately. To deny our children the skill of being digitally adept would be remiss but to set no limits on how much time they spend doing so would be irresponsible. Having limits and boundaries on device use teaches children many life skills some of …Read more →