FROM THE DESK OF Mark Petro
I always look forward to August.
Shorter days, and milder weather are just around the corner. College football players return to their respective campuses. The local newspapers will get us excited with an increase in the number of articles written about fall football practices. We will be reading these articles attentively to gauge how good we think our favorite football team will be or how bad our rival team (hopefully) will be. We’ll try to read between the lines when we listen to the head coach speak to try to determine who will be starting at the different positions, especially at quarterback. Wow! I am getting excited just thinking about it! I guess you can tell I love college football — even though, growing up, I was too skinny to play the sport. This August will be different at my house. My wife and I will be “empty nesters” for the first time. My oldest child, Carlee, has graduated from college and has just moved into an apartment, and my youngest child, Allee, is enrolling at Ole Miss this month as a freshman. I remember my parents often saying how time flies, and now I can truly say I understand what they meant.
Anxiety, concern, conflict — parents and teens agree that digital devices are a source of all three of these, according to a study from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The comprehensive study compared digital device usage in the United States and Japan and how they have an impact on family relationships in both countries. “The patterns of daily life have been forever altered by the ubiquity of digital devices,” says Willow Bay, co-author of the study and dean of USC Annenberg College. “Clearly, our always-on media environment is presenting challenges.” So why do we still have these devices on us at all times, and how can we use them more responsibly? USC Annenberg’s study demonstrates that technology isn’t going away any time soon, and learning how to manage its usage is critical. Here are some tips that both parents and teens can learn from. BE THE EXAMPLE The study gave interesting insight into how we perceive our kids’ technology usage and how they perceive ours. It found that most parents think their teens are addicted to their mobile devices. Most parents also felt addicted themselves. Their teens are aware of this — 1 in 3 teens also believes their parents are addicted. Your kids learn from how you spend your time. As the parent, you are the No. 1 example your child has for any behavior. If they see you looking at your phone most of the time they’re with you, they’ll likely start to do the same. HOWTOBALANCE TECHNOLOGY USE INYOUR FAMILY Manage YourDevices; Don’t Let ThemManage You
Have a great August!
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