Screenagers Film

I’d like to draw your attention to a timely and important documentary called Screenagers (screenagersmovie.com) that addresses one of the most difficult parenting issues of our time – the intense attraction, overuse, and misuse of “screens”. The film is a little over an hour long, and provides great food for discussion with your family. TLA is exploring the possibility of hosting a screening, but if you’re interested there are two other screenings in the Vancouver area coming up:

Nov 30, 2017 at Charles Tupper Secondary School, Vancouver
Dec 5, 2017 at Justice Institute of BC, New Westminster

Here are some tips on device use and control for parents from the makers of the movie:

Having weekly, short, calm conversations with your family about tech is so important. Tech Talk Tuesday (TTT), our weekly blog, offers you tools and tips for discussions. Families tell us it’s making a huge difference. Visit our website www.screenagersmovie.com/tech-talk-tuesdays/ to try one. It’s never too late to start a conversation about technology but often doing it in baby steps is more effective. —Delaney Ruston, MD, filmmaker of Screenagers

4 Basic rules to consider— (go to www.screenagersmovie.com to find ways to enforce rules)

1. No screens in bedrooms when kids and teens go to sleep (for younger kids keep screens out completely). Fact: 75% teens get inadequate sleep. The presence of devices disrupts sleep cycles.

2. Set time goals for studying without multitasking and then, also, take tech breaks. Fact: Multitasking is linked to less retention and poorer academic outcomes.

3. Eat family meals without devices. Fact: Face-to-face conversations improve mood and empathy.

4. Put phones and devices away in the car. Fact: More than half of kids report seeing their parents text while driving.

3 Tips to help your child build self-control

1. Science shows that positive rewards work better than punishment. For example, if you observe your child focused while doing their homework without their device, praise them.

2. Build times when tech is out of sight. Self-control is hard, so decrease temptations.

3. Use TTT to let your kids share with you about the reasons they like tech in their lives—the more they feel understood, the more they’ll work with you on tech limits.

Discussion questions

● How much time do you think kids spend looking at screens? (Kids spend an average of 6.5 hours a day on screens, not including classroom or homework.)

● How much time do you think you spend each week on screen-related activities?

● The film featured a study in which baby mice exposed to screen time developed fewer cells in the areas of learning and memory than non-exposed mice. Do you think this is true for humans too?

● Do you think violent video games desensitize people to violence?

● What are some popular games that don’t involve violence?

● Have you experienced people using screens to avoid face-to-face interactions? Do you ever make comments online that you wouldn’t make in person?

Resources at www.screenagersmovie.com

● Screen Time Contracts—Tips and screen time contracts templates, including Tessa’s contract

● Parenting Apps—Tools that automatically turn off tech at certain times

● Digital Citizenship—Links to help teach this at home and in schools

● Parenting Tips—Ongoing practical advice from our blog, TTT and more

Posted in Principal's Blog.