Video: Raising Digital Natives With Character

On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Yellowbrick.me partnered with West Hartford Community of Concern to host “Raising Digital Natives With Character,” a panel discussion and Q&A.

The event, hosted by Fox61’s Sarah Cody, included the following experts:

• Dr. Andrew Morrow, Assistant Superintendent, West Hartford Public Schools
• Dr. Amy Alamar, Educator and Author, “Parenting for the Genius: Developing Confidence in Your Parenting through Reflective Practice”
• Una Barry, Head of School, Montessori School of Greater Hartford
• Kristine A. Schlichting, Ph.D., Chief Psychologist, Hopewell Health Solutions LLC

The evening’s discussion focused on parenting issues relating to “Digital Natives” — with a special focus on how to raise them with character. But what exactly is a digital native?

A Digital Native is a person who was raised in a technologically advanced, media-saturated world. And as a result, the way they process information, form social relationships, and make decisions differs dramatically from those of us who were raised in previous generations — in the absence of modern technological innovation.

Although digital natives vary in age, the term is usually applied to people who were born after 1980. That’s when cell phones, video games, cable television, and personal computers started to become accessible to the average American family. These technologies have rapidly changed over time. And new innovations such as social networking sites have emerged, adding an additional layer of complexity to the lives of digital natives.

So what’s the problem? Our kids are growing up in the constantly evolving information age and there is still so much we as parents and educators are still figuring out. Their job is to venture into it with excitement and abandon and our job is to keep them safe, but also to raise them to be independent adults with character who can fend for themselves.

As with any generation, we are faced with new challenges we didn’t experience in our own growing up, and our children are quick to learn and act. We are here to talk about how to embrace and live in the digital age with hope rather than fear. Of course we still want to be vigilant and cautious, but we shouldn’t throw our hands up and give up because we don’t tweet.

Additional resources:

Raising Digital Natives with Character

Teens and Online Safety

“Technology and Children 0-11: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown” with Parenting Expert Dr. Rosina

Cyberbullying

Interview with Michael Robb: Plugged In Parents of Teens

Setting Screen Time Rules

Plugged-in parenting: How parental smartphone use may affect kids

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