Archive for the ‘Parenting for Peace’ Category

How to Love Your Child’s Summer Vacation, Pt. 2

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

In yesterday’s post I proposed the first three of five tips to help you with summer vacation activity ideas. These are meant to ease your mind and equip you with helpful ideas if you’re one of many parents wondering how you’re going to fill the vast expanses of hot days with “bored” kids… retain your sanity… make it fun and nourishing for all… and maybe even stumble upon some calm, confidence and joy in the process. (What a concept!)

I covered:

  • How to avoid one of the most common pitfalls when transitioning to summer vacation
  • Why “boredom” isn’t lethal to your children ~ just the opposite!
  • Ways to use summer as a “refueling zone” ~ nourishing presence & connection

Today, onward! (more…)

How to Love Your Child’s Summer Vacation

Friday, May 26th, 2017

How to Love Your Child's Summer Vacation | Marcy Axness, PhD

Along with your child’s school summer vacation, the summer season itself brings many natural cues to slow down: the warmth, the longer days (more time = less need to do things fast), and the luscious grass or warm sand that beckons, Lie down!

But the approach of summer can also strike terror in the hearts of parents. Are you quietly (or not-so-quietly) dreading your child’s school summer vacation — wondering how you’re going to fill the vast expanses of hot days with “bored” kids? How you’re going to stick to your values about screened media, while retaining your sanity? Oh, and by the way, hopefully enjoying some semblance of calm and enJOYment?!

Here are five guidelines to help you not just survive summer, but actually cultivate more ease & harmony as you “wire” yourself and your children for joy & wellbeing in the coming year! (more…)

Digital Dependence & Social Intelligence: Is Siri Dumbing Down Our Humanity?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Is our technological wizardry with its infinite stream of instant answers eroding what makes us most human? Is digital dependence undermining our social intelligence?

During my strolls through Costco, a persistent thought comes to me (besides yum, those pizza samples are good):  If I were an evil genius wanting to erode the nutritional intelligence of a civilization, this would be a good first step: induce mass consumer hypnosis via the big-box store. (Will return to this point in a bit.)

During my infrequent strolls down streets with actual pedestrians, a persistent question comes to me: How will our culture’s mass digital dependence affect this generation’s social intelligence?  (more…)

Taming Tech to Protect Sleep: A No-Brainer for Healthy Brains

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Digital-Dependence-Parenting-for-Peace

Whenever you want to make healthier choices, like going on a diet, the most successful strategy is to focus on the benefits and yumminess of what you can have, rather than on what you’re giving up. It’s true with food, and it’s true with tech. Zeroing in on specific priorities, like to protect sleep, is going to make it much easier to tame your digital devotion into healthier balance—and by extension, establish healthier tech habits in your children.

Protect Sleep, The “Royal Cradle of Growth”

Sleep is Nature’s own simple treasure, offered to us nightly free of charge, and yet we frequently shine it on in favor of all manner of other trivial pursuits. And we suffer for it.

The list of reasons to protect sleep is long. And it’s full of things that impact very important features of lifelong health—many of them related to your brain. Protect your sleep and your children’s, and Life will thank you many times over with vitality that cannot be duplicated by any other means.

A Simple Way to Protect Sleep

Here’s psychiatrist (and a longtime mentor in the field of attachment neurobiology) Dan Siegel with a 2-minute crash-course in why you want to get in the habit of turning off your smartphone or tablet an hour or two before bed. (more…)

Digital Mastery Tools for Parents: Slow Tech & iRules

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Digital-Dependence-Parenting-for-Peace So let’s say you’ve been nodding your head at what you’ve read so far in this series (not to mention lots of other places) about the quiet costs of digital devotion… but what now?? What do you DO about it?! How do you tame the iBeast you invited in, before you realized it was hacking your children’s brain chemistry to engineer their deepening digital dependence? How do you transform iWorries into iRules? Assuming you’ve checked out the two solid entry-level guidelines I offered a few weeks ago, and you’re looking for some next-level ideas, Janell Burley Hofmann has some road-tested family tools for you.

Starting with her Slow Tech Manifesto: (more…)

BRAIN HACKING: Hijacking You From the Inside

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

A WARNING FROM TECH INSIDERS

What do you, me and Anderson Cooper have in common? A creeping suspicion that we have, to some degree, an addiction to our devices. That was Cooper’s opening question for former Google product manager Tristan Harris during his “Brain-Hacking” segment on 60 Minutes this week.

What followed makes my job easy for this Wired Wednesday: I suggest… nay, I implore… you to see this episode. And with due recognition to the efficiency demands of our current “attention economy,” you don’t even need to spend the time it would take to watch the episode: CBS News has kindly provided a transcript that you can read through very quickly.

Yup, you can have your (brain-hacked) mind blown in a mere 3 minutes. Is it chilling? For sure. Frightening? Definitely. Surprising? Not really. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Attention Deficits & Digital Devotion

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Wired Wednesdays | Marcy Axness, PhD | Parenting for Peace

TWO PITFALLS FOR PARENTS

“We all understand the joys of our always-wired world — the connections, the validations, the laughs, the porn, the info. I don’t want to deny any of them here. But we are only beginning to get our minds around the costs, if we are even prepared to accept that there are costs.

“For the subtle snare of this new technology is that it lulls us into the belief that there are no downsides. It’s all just more of everything. Online life is simply layered on top of offline life. We can meet in person and text beforehand. We can eat together while checking our feeds.”

This from Andrew Sullivan in his New York Magazine article, “I Used to Be a Human Being,” chronicling his web addiction, recovery and reflections. The piece is extraordinary… and extraordinarily long. So, I aim to tease out excerpts from it to enrich the Wired Wednesday series.

Today, two aspects of digital dependence of particular concern for parents, related to attention deficits: these can have a deep and direct impact upon your developing child’s brain circuitry. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: “Don’t Use Your Device When…”

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

TWO GREAT GUIDELINES FOR DIGITAL MASTERY

As with most of the principles and ideas in my book, these are oh-so-simple, but not always oh-so-easy!

1: Don’t Use Your Device While Doing Anything Else

To me this seems like a no-brainer, but that turns out to be a highly old-fashioned attitude. The very portability of our devices reinforces our digital dependence by eliminating virtually all barriers to their use–and voilá, a feed-forward loop that has established habitual multi-tasking device usage as the new normal in less than a decade.

Indeed, it wasn’t even ten years ago when you had to go to your desk… or at best to your laptop, sitting over there… to check your email, play solitaire or do that IMDb search. Doing those things was an activity in itself. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Digital Imitation of Life

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Digital-Dependence-Parenting-for-Peace

HOW FACEBOOK IS LIKE A BOX OF DONUTS

When is an apple not really an apple? And what does this silly question have to do with exploring our collective digital dependence? An apple is not really an apple when the 3-dimensional, more or less round-ish, faintly applish-scented, red or green piece of fruit is replaced by something standing in for it—an abstract symbol of some kind. The most common form of abstraction or symbol occurs in written and spoken language: the word “apple” is a symbolic representation of the real thing. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Dataclysm in the Time of Alone Togetherness

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

AUTHORS ON OUR DIGITAL DEPENDENCE

 

I had so many ah-hah moments reading through Narain Jashanmal’s annotated list of “The Best Books on the Impact of Technology on Society” – not even any of the books (yet), but merely his descriptions of them – that I thought I’d pass it directly on to you.

Wired-Wednesdays-Digital-Dependence

The fact that there are 19 books spotlighted here also humbles me that this territory is so unfathomably vast for a single mere mortal – you or me – to be able to easily navigate and understand. (more…)