2012 Higher Love

Parent Well in our Digital World

Gloria DeGaetano

Parent Well in our Digital World – Use Screens for Non-Screen Activities

Gloria, founder of The Parent Coaching Institute (PCI) and author of Parenting Well in a Media Age, talks with PCI Certified Parent Coach® Priscila Fuzikawa who joins the conversation from her home in Brazil. In addition to working as a PCI Coach with individuals and groups through her company Gruponest, Priscila is a Brazilian occupational therapist, working in the field of mental health with trauma patients. A creative professional, Priscila also coaches musicians for performance enhancement. She is a mother of two children, ages 6 and 9. And in her typical candid honesty, Priscila admits that the parenting difficulties she faced with her own children led her to parenting workshops and finally to Parent Coach Certification® training with PCI. Now as a PCI coach, mother, and OT, her mission is to make the world a better place through better parenting.

This podcasts taps into Priscila’s unique creativity with her own kids in coming up with non-screen activities that resulted from their on-screen activities. Media images and digital devices can be used to spur meaningful and creative 3-D experiences for children and teens. How many times do we see our youngsters imitate a cartoon character in their imaginative play experience? What if we helped them add new ideas—such as a different name, occupation, or new clothes to an already beloved hero? Our kids do not have to suffer the constraints of an imitative imagination. Instead we can help them use their generative imaginations, using what they see on the screen to motivate them to be even more creative!

And that’s what Priscila did. The idea came to her when she saw her two children playing chase in slow motion and saying they were running like some TV character. Then they were trying to build something out of Legos® related to a video game, and were drawing new characters for it also. Instead of worrying that this might limit their creativity, Priscila invited her children to dig deeper into their creativity and encouraged the paper cut out of characters from the Minecraft games. This led to more play outside of the video game—real world play that the children enjoyed just as well—or often more so—than the video game. Priscila had come up with an exciting way to motivate her children and propose other creative activities—in the real world.

In this podcast she shares excellent ideas centered around these four basic points:
1) It is possible and desirable that we use on-screen activities to generate healthy off-screen activities like games, drawing, crafts, reading, physical activities).

2) Ways to redirect our children’s interests away from screen instead of confronting them head on.

3) Our participation is essential to help introduce new ideas and expand on those that come spontaneously from children.

4) It is important for parents to be aware that screen technology is not the only source of imagination and play for their children, as this can easily lead to consumerism. It is important for kids to have real life role models.

Tune in and start today to use some of these creative ideas with your children—it’s fun, doesn’t cost anything, and put them in the driver’s seat to be more fully in charge of their video game play!

Part Two: The Parent Coaching Corner™

I am coaching Lindsey, mom of two daughters, Charlie, age 5.5 and Olive, age, 2.5. Lindsey is coming to coaching for three basic reasons:

• She wants to provide more activities for the girls outside of screen technologies.
• She wants to work cooperatively with the school and her daughter’s tutor who are prescribe screen time for Charlee.
• Being a pro-active mom, she wants to prepare for the girls’ future wise use of screen technologies as they get older.

In our last session, Lindsey explained the strengths of each of her daughters, along with her own strengths. In this, our third session, we continue to talk about strengths and discover more resources Lindsey has in her life to support her. We then discuss the ideal picture of what her girls’ present and future screen use would look like, if she could have it any way she wanted in her preferred reality.
Tune into the last two podcasts to catch up with Lindsey!