Thank you to all of the parents who participated in this morning’s session “Becoming Media Mentors for Our Children”. I really do appreciate your time and the thoughts that you shared with the other parents in the room. For those who weren’t able to attend, I’m embedding the slides that we used as well as a few resources that we discussed. At the bottom of this post, I explain Media Mentor Month and link to the calendar of activities (in English, Mandarin, and Korean).
What are Media Mentors?
We spent a good amount of time discussing the work of Alexandra Samuel and her research into 10,000 families in North America. In her work, she categorized the families that she spoke with into three distinct camps: technology limiters, technology enablers, and technology mentors. While we all exhibit behaviors from all three camps at different times during our lives (or even during the day!), it is important to note that it is one’s general mindset that is key. In her research, Samuel discovered that Mentor-inspired parents are more likely to have conversations about the responsible use of technology, and children of Limiter-inspired parents are more likely to engage in online misbehavior.
You can watch her briefly explain her work here:
What is Media Mentor Month?
Parents may sometimes feel like they don’t know where to start when talking about media, technology and screen time with their children. Media Mentor Month is a series of activities and conversation starters that parents can use to initiate these important discussions with their children. As we discussed in the session, being a mentor is not the same as being the expert nor does it require you to have all of the answers. Becoming a Media Mentor for your child is more about parents understanding what their children are doing online and with technology, understanding why it is important to them, and helping them to learn to make decisions that align with your values as a family.
It would be great if parents can have all 30 of these discussions with their children, but in reality we know that will be hard for most families. So instead of trying to do everything, pick and choose the ones that are right for you!
True screen wisdom is about relationships. It’s the kinds of connections we can have with one another. It’s about trust. And balance.