On today's episode of the "Helping Families Be Happy" podcast, host Adina Oberman, talks to Jessica Speer. She is an award-winning author known for her books "Not Really Friends," "Middle School Safety Goggles Advised," and the newly released "The Phone Book," which are interactive books aimed at preteens and teens. These books entertain while addressing important topics, blending humor, science, stories, and insights to help young readers navigate challenges during adolescence.
02:14: Jessica shares the challenges of children using devices more frequently or differently than they did during the summer.
02:45: Jessica gives her advice by suggesting practical steps for families to prepare for the school year transition.
04:28: Jessica emphasizes the importance of encouraging healthy communication between children and their teachers when it comes to using technology.
05:20: Digital literacy is a crucial new form of literacy, given that so much information is now presented on screens. With the rise of digital communication, it's challenging for kids to discern what is true and what is not, and even the emotional nuances in messages can be lost.
05:46: To help children become more media literate, Jessica suggests a gradual process that starts with teaching them how to assess the credibility of information.
06:21: In today's parenting landscape, a significant aspect involves guiding kids to be safe online, promoting good digital citizenship, and fostering literacy.
06:39: With the power that devices provide, children can communicate through texts and messages either positively and kindly or in a harmful way.
06:57: By teaching kids about their digital influence and encouraging them to make positive choices online, parents can help mold their children into responsible and empathetic digital citizens.
07:39: Digital social interactions can be even trickier than in-person interactions due to the absence of nonverbal cues and the involvement of more people in online conversations.
08:46: Family tech agreements are widely available online, but they can vary in content. Parents need to review a few options and choose one that best suits their family's dynamics and values. However, the tech agreement is just the starting point.
10:33: Jessica provides valuable guidance on how to handle situations where things may not be going well about technology use and its impact on various aspects of a child's life.
15:03: Jessica highlights the importance of helping kids create healthy habits around screen time.
3 Key Highlights
Jessica discusses how her book "The Phone Book" helps both adult and younger readers understand media literacy in the context of phones, screens, and the internet.
Jessica explains how it is crucial to identify specific areas or times in the house where screens are not allowed.
Jessica highlights her approach to "The Phone Book," emphasizing its aim to facilitate important conversations with kids about their phone usage. While the book is written for preteens and early teens, she encourages parents to read it as well to engage in discussions about topics such as stranger danger, digital literacy, digital footprints, and reputation.
"In elementary school where children might be encountering devices for the first time or using them more extensively for assignments and testing." - Jessica Speer
"If a child is having trouble with a device or encountering challenges, they should feel empowered to communicate their issues to their teacher so that they can receive the necessary support." - Jessica Speer
"By creating a calm and understanding atmosphere, parents can address challenges related to technology use without creating unnecessary tension or conflict. The focus should be on finding solutions together and supporting the child's overall well-being and success." - Jessica Speer
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