I remember the first time, I started seeing the effects of social media and device use on our kids. At first it was anxiousness, which quickly turned to surliness, and then soon a barrage of behaviors followed that left us scratching our heads. These were not our children.
It took some patient and gentle probing to get to the bottom of what was going on that seemed to be pulling them farther and farther from us. When we realized they were each suffering in their own ways from the effects of social media and digital use we were speechless – partly because we were just plain naive and partly because we recognized that we could relate to some of what they were experiencing.
We are the very first generation of parents and kids living in the digital world together. This is unchartered territory for sure. So when our family faced this stumbling block, I went looking for answers. And as we all know, the internet of things has more information than we know what to do with – much of it questionable advice. Some seemed to minimize the grief, anxiety, depression, cyberbullying, harmful communities, and stranger danger. Others promoted a hardline, restrictive approach. Finding something in the middle was like searching for a needle in a haystack. After nearly five years of working with youth, I knew I had to start a conversation.
I created "Art of Parenting" as a resource for parents, their pre-teens, teens, and young adults out of a sincere desire to do something about the growing problem of social media and device use. Within its pages you will find informative articles, a variety of resources and practical tools, workshops, and even private coaching if you need a little extra, nonjudgmental support.
Over the course of my career, I have developed a network of counselors, therapists, nonprofits, youth workers, amazing parents, and teens themselves who will add to the conversation to help walk us through this process.
I believe there is power in information. There is empowerment when we work together to educate ourselves and share what we learn. There is hope when we help our teens become healthy, well-adjusted, and kind adults.
I hope you find this resource useful and share it with the families you know. Lets learn the Art of Parenting to raise our generations in this fast changing world.
Team, Art of Parenting
Because children acquire the abilities to become responsible, caring adults and citizens of their society from the people who are most intensely involved with them, parenting is the most important and challenging job any of us can have; yet, it receives little support or recognition in our society. There is very little formal training for this task and parents are often isolated and without adequate support networks. The programs " Art of Parenting" address these needs of parents in our specially organized workshops.