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Controlling Your Child's Digital Interactions

Dr. Michael Thompson explores what it means to raise your child in a digital world.

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-The number one [inaudible] question these days is how do I control my child's interaction with the digital world? What do we do about all of these gadgets? Is she doing her homework? Is she on Facebook? I can't see. She sits in the corner so I can't walk around her. It's very, very hard to limit our children's involvement with the digital world. It is partly hard because we are addicted ourselves. Kids see us doing this. They believe that this is where they lives are going to be lived and they are drawn to it. Parents are having the hardest time teaching their kids to turn it off, to go to bed, to not take cell phone calls at dinner. And that's because Dad maybe taking cell phone calls at dinner or Mom might be taking cell phones at dinner. I have a 10-month-old granddaughter and she's fascinated by her mother's iPad. And she's clearly going to be a digital child. What she has to experience is a lot of love and connection and looking into people's eyes because we know that the capacity for empathy and the capacity for attachment requires that you get into a relationship with someone and where the mirror neurons in both of your brains are reacting to each other, imitating each other, focusing on each other and ultimately, of course, loving each other. That's what makes something good, right? And I'm pretty sure our screens can do that.