2012 Higher Love

Parent Well in our Digital World

Gloria DeGaetano

Parent Well in our Digital World – Children and Creativity

Part One: Guest Interview

Gloria, founder of The Parent Coaching Institute, and author of Parenting Well in a Media Age, talks with Diane Dreher, Ph.D., Professor of English and Associate Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University. Diane is a best-selling author and positive psychology coach whose latest book is Your Personal Renaissance: 12 Steps to Finding Your Life’s True Calling. Diane writes a regular blog for Psychology Today and offers personal coaching based on the latest research in positive psychology to help people create greater joy, meaning, and balance in their lives.

Did you ever buy a fancy toy for your child only to find him playing with the box the toy came in? I did. That happened often with my sons. Children are naturally creative, yet if glued to television or mesmerized by video games, they are not experiencing the type of personal agency they would if they actually created something. Screen technologies, though, don’t have to squeeze the creativity out of our kids. Research shows that with less screen time, children develop their creativity more fully—and then when they do use screen technologies, they use them for creative purposes. This is what we want for our children and teens—we want them to be in touch with their creativity—and to use it in all aspects of their lives—even with their digital devices.

Dr. Diane Dreher has researched creativity and creative people extensively. In her book, Your Personal Renaissance: 12 Steps to Finding Your Life’s True Calling Dr. Dreher summarizes the basic characteristics of the artists and writers of the Renaissance that were key to their immense creativity. In this interview she discusses three major qualities of creative people:

1. Creative people are intrinsically motivated—they do what they do because they love doing it. They don’t need external rewards for a fulfilling life. In fact, their fulfillment comes from within.
2. Creative people know and use their strengths. Adults who accomplish great things—innovators and visionaries—were in touch with their strengths as children and find that using their talents is their greatest joy.
3. Creative people are mindful. They live in the present and can stay focused during the creative process—no matter how many distractions are in their lives. They don’t succumb!

Join me to learn more about these “top three qualities” and how parents can nurture them in their children—Yes, even in our digital age.

Part Two: The Parent Coaching Corner™
I continue coaching Geri, a mom of three sons, ages 9, 11, and 13 about their use of their digital devices. In the last session Geri uncovered her ideal life if her boys were in control of their electronics. In this ideal life Geri would feel more relaxed and have less anxiety and the boys would self-manage and be more motivated to do other things besides electronics.

To begin moving toward her ideal, Geri put together an ambitious summer plan that her boys accepted well—but now she’s wondering—did I make more work for myself after all? In this session I discuss that Summer Plan and how Geri might streamline and still see the results she wants.

(Listen to the four previous podcasts to catch up with Geri.)

Please Note: You hear a portion of a one-hour coaching session. We can’t record the entire session, but we give you the important gist. For more information about PCI Parent Coaching, please contact: info@thepci.org.