Archive for the ‘Parenting for Peace’ Category

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…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Pained in Plain Sight

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

DIGITAL DEPENDENCE EFFECTS ON THE BODY

The question of how we are affected by our handheld technologies is really daunting – so daunting that it is tempting to just do the ostrich thing: put our heads in the sand and not think about the possible downsides of our digital dependence. (Or rather, put our heads down and amuse ourselves with the Candy Crush or Facebook in our hands.)

So I figure I’ll grab for the lowest-hanging fruit first: tangible, visible effects of our digital dependence upon our physical bodies.

A Pain in the Neck?

A few years ago, a private practice neurosurgeon sparked an online news flurry when he published an article about so-called “text neck” – spinal problems caused by the downward-looking posture of time spent on a smartphone. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Exploring Our Digital Dependence

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

 

Digital-dependence LET’S BEGIN

If you harbor vague concerns about your (and your children’s) growing digital dependence, I’m right there with you.

If you fear that the issue of device devotion is so complicated you can’t get a firm grasp on it, I’m with you.

If it all seems just too… inevitable and insurmountable, yep, I’m there as well.

But like a squirrel on a mission, I’ve been stashing away lot of good stuff on digital dependence and now I think it’s time to just dive in — into the foggy, messy fray, without any real plan, outline or idea of how this blog series will look. So here goes.

The only plan-ish part is that I’m committing to post something every Wednesday on some aspect of this topic. I’ll look at different angles on the role(s) that our devices play in our lives, how they help, and how they may be hurting.

And probably much more important, how we can develop mastery over our technology so it can do what it was designed to do: to make our lives easier and richer!

The Rub

Here’s the conundrum, particularly for the Parenting for Peace objective of fostering vibrant social intelligence in ourselves and our coming generations: (more…)

Harness the Power of Beginnings at New Year’s

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

I’ll level with you: I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. I somehow feel like it’s a set-up for failure at whatever it is I’m attempting to succeed at.

Then I came to learn about the power of beginnings, and it has informed how I approach New Year’s. For one thing, these simple tips will help you avoid NYRE (New Year’s Resolution Extinction) Syndrome!

Interested? Read on at mothering.com.

Parenting Is Enough

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

At a time when we in America are facing (what CNN’s Van Jones calls) “messy truths” about our U.S. democracy it is easy to become discouraged or fearful, no matter your political leanings.

One helpful suggestion when feeling stymied by big emotions is simply: Breathe… Dial in your focus from the overwhelming big picture to what is right in front of you, and… Take the next indicated action.

That may be something as “small” as being very present as you bathe your baby. Or kneeling down and looking your child in the eye as he breathlessly tells you about today’s show-and-tell. Or setting aside your device (even if you’re using it to read this newsletter!!) to dance in the snow (or sand or grass or soil) with your little one. Does this leave you feeling uneasily removed from the pressing issues and actions happening all around?

In my book I share the parable of three villagers strolling along the bank of their community’s river. Suddenly to their dismay they see a child, then another, then many children, being swept past them in the water’s swift current. One villager without hesitation dives in to try and save at least one or two; another dashes up the street to a shop in order to call for rescue help. (There is no cell service in this parable.) The third villager simply runs away, which shocks her companions. They are stunned by her insensitivity and apparent apathy to this tragedy. But she is neither insensitive nor apathetic: she runs her heart out up-river to see how she might prevent the children from falling into the river in the first place.

As a parent (or grandparent or aunt or teacher), you are engaged in an unspeakably important social action–raising a citizen equipped with the kind of robust social intelligence so critical for our evolving world. Parenting for peace in the ways described in my book and programs may lead you to sometimes feel uninvolved in “right now” approaches to social renewal, political or policy reform, environmental activism, and efforts toward spreading peace.

But I have dedicated myself to making the case for what an imperative, long-view healing approach it really is: like FDR said, “We can’t build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future.”

I have a proposition for you: If you’re deeply concerned about today’s world and where it’s going…if you feel like something more is needed to heal our social and environmental issues… if you feel like you want to participate in a “solution revolution” but don’t quite know how… then as Gandhi so famously urged, be the change you want to see in the world, and raise children whose very beings are woven from that change.

Your child(ren) will flourish, and the collective consciousness will be leavened by your calm conviction and devoted action.

And as the holidays are upon us, here is one way to embody, express and model the change you want to see in the world… and in your child: create more ease by simplifying your celebration. The holiday ideas I suggest for new mothers here at mothering.com can enrich any stage of your mothering life — enjoy!

4 Ways to De-Stress Back to School

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

school

Whether your kids have been back in school for weeks (the days of rebelling about school starting before Labor Day seem a distant, quaint memory), or went back this week… let’s be honest — the summer-to-school transition can be stressful!

One of the most helpful definitions of stress is simply “wanting something to be different than it is.” So, let’s embrace what is, and explore ways to ease and elevate the transition of back-to-school time! {Read how at mothering.com}