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Showing posts from 2017

"Screen Kids": An Audio Series!!

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Insights Into Education Podcast  presents"Screen Kids!"  Our  motivation is simple. Our hearts are heavy with concern and care for your children's health and well-being. This first part of a five-part series is a gentle introduction for parents, guardians, and for anyone entrusted with the health and well-being of our children.   Holli speaks with educators  Ed Berger and Dan Kenley   presenting information about the damage electronic screens (smart phones, iPads, video games) have on our children's health. Because Holli is concerned that much of this new information will cause an overreaction and possibly generate guilt and negative responses, she takes a soft-spoken but professional approach.  She identifies dangers and offers courses of action that will alleviate these problems. The next episodes go deeper into the issues we all need to be aware of. Real Power Means Being Informed! Take a listen!    Screens Kids Introduction : Why Should We Ca

"Me Too" - What Victims Want You To Know...And Do

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Once again the news has broken exposing a famous individual as a chronic sexual abuser and violator of women. As the number of victims continues to rise, a collective compassionate response has also taken hold.  A movement  - "Me Too" - has gone viral with females from all walks of life courageously coming forward with their disclosures of  victimization from sexual harassment and assault.  As an advocate of victims of any kind of abuse or trauma including sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying/cyber bullying and as a victim myself, I am encouraged by the outpouring of support. At the same time, it is important to remind ourselves how we have arrived at a place in our culture where sexual harassment and assault is pandemic, not only for females but also for males.  Although I will provide you with additional readings and resources at the end of the blog,  today I want to address...  "Me Too" - What Victims Want You To Know...And Do What victims wa

Inside "The Glass Castle," Parents Betray Their Children

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"The Glass Castle" is a film based on the best-selling memoir by Jeanette Walls.  It is painful and powerful. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking. Jeanette Walls, despite being raised in a chaotic and negligent environment, broke free from the bonds of family dysfunction and built a life for herself as an accomplished journalist. Today's blog is not a review of the movie nor is it a commentary on how Jeanette's story has touched the hearts and souls of its readers and viewers. After seeing the movie, although I was moved by Jeanette's triumph over tragedy, I was reminded that it came at a cost. The message which resonated for me was... Inside "The Glass Castle," Parents Betray Their Children  Over the past ten years, I have written and spoken about "betrayal." It is a topic I am comfortable with and passionate about. When we think of "betrayal," our minds typically turn to issues of infidelity or other relationships in which

Detached Families, Disconnected Relationships, and Distracted Students: 4 Non-Negotiable Steps To Reclaim Them!

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Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to the staff of a comprehensive high school in Southern California about Screen Dependence. Because it is also a boarding school, I was able to connect with the academic faculty as well as the home-living staff. For three hours, we covered a lot of material: cyber bullying, screen dependence, and the growing health concerns within eac h. We also discussed several strategies and interventions for moving forward. Although I presented a research-based workshop, I was also mindful of involving the audience in several interactive exercises in order for the material to connect with them.  I was hoping they would welcome the participation. Wow!  I was warmed by their honesty and involvement, and I felt the heaviness in their voices as they described their experiences with.... Detached Families, Disconnected Relationships, and Distracted Students. Alone together Over the past decade, I have had the privilege to present to many incredible aud

How Do You Become Empowered? Your Glass Casing Awaits Your Response.

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How Do We Become Empowered ? Empowered is a word we hear frequently.  It suggests strength.  Although its connotations are appealing, it often times feels out of reach.  It is like an exquisite diamond ring casting its sparkle through the glass casings of a high-priced jewelry boutique.  Its magnificence catches our eye, and for a moment, we wonder what it would feel like to try it on. How would it transform us? Who could we become? We pause, allowing ourselves time to think about it. We may even give ourselves permission to believe a transformation could happen. Then, just as the brilliant vision of a different way of being begins to descend upon us, it quickly dissipates. Why is it that becoming empowered seems to elude us?   Is it really out of reach or is it a question of knowing where to find it and how to try it on? Is it really out of reach? The word empowered begins with a very important prefix – em – which means within and through. Thus, becoming empowered is

Screen Time: Is it a harmonious passion or an obsessive passion? Take the quiz!

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Because I am interested in the issue of screen dependence and internet addiction, I read almost everything that comes across my desk.  A few months ago, I devoured  Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked  (2017) by New York Times bestselling author Adam Alter.  An expert in the field of addiction, Alter offers his readers a short quiz to assess their online(screen) usage. For today's blog, I invite you to take the quiz!  Although it is sometimes a bit uncomfortable to assess our own behavior or that of our loved ones, it is important to know whether our screen-time falls into the category of.... a   harmonious passion or an obsessive passion. Here we go. Let's take the quiz! Internet Addiction Test  (Alter, p. 27) Select the response that best represents the frequency of each behavior listed using the scale below. 0 = Not applicable 1 = Rarely 2 = Occasionally 3 = Frequently 4 = Often 5 = Always

13 Reasons Why: "Shaming" No More

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Over the past few weeks, there has been quite a bit of buzz regarding the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. Because of my interest in youth, my background in cyber bullying, and my years of advocating for victims of all kinds, I wanted to watch it. I did. Today's blog is not about the controversies surrounding the series or the pros or cons of it. It is about one behavior - shaming - which permeated the entire story-line.  Many of our kids are navigating environments of shaming, both in their real lives and their on-line lives.  It is our duty as parents, guardians, educators, health care professionals and anyone who cares about our kids' well-being to ensure... "shaming is no  more." When most of us were growing up,we saw kids being made fun of. We "put down" other kids or played jokes on them. Or, we were the ones who were teased and taunted. At the same time, most of us were able to establish friendships and we learned about trust, loyalty, and mutual

How To Tech-Protect Our Kids: 5 Must-Reads and an APP!

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Parents and Guardians, every generation has it challenges. We certainly had ours and our children have theirs! However, there is something very uniquely problematic about raising children in this digital age. The emerging and ever-present scientific advancements which offer 24/7 communication and social interaction and supposedly are "connecting" us to one another more rapidly and efficiently are the same technological tools which are changing who we are and cultivating a "disconnect" with one another. Although research is  mounting in support of "tech-effects" on our children,  we also know that adults are not immune to many of the psychological, relational,  physical, and behavioral consequences of passive and interactive time spent on screens. Why is this so hard to believe?  Why do we want to turn away from what is going on?  This is important.  I think the first reason is because we - as parents - do not want to think we might be