June 2015


M O N T H L Y  T I P
 
“One up” your communication

            

Happy, healthy, rewarding relationships, whether with friends, family, or a romantic partner, thrive and succeed by building close bonds, often through communication and shared experiences. In today’s world, it is easy for us (adults, teens and children alike) to use technology to distance ourselves from each other, so that the more connected we may seem (by being “Friends” on Facebook or Snapchat, following each other on Twitter and Vine), the less connected we actually are. 

 

This month make an effort to deepen your connections and communication with others. Challenge yourself and your children to “one up” or take how you communicate with others to the next level. For example, if your tween reaches for her phone to text a friend, have her call or Skype them instead. If your teen asks to play video games virtually with a group of friends online, have him invite those friends over so they can play together in the same space. You can even make a fun chart as a family of different levels of communication and how to “one up” them. For example:

  • Liking an Instagram post –> Make a meaningful comment as to why you enjoy it
  • Tweeting to a friend –> Pick up the phone and call her
  • Texting –> Skype or Facetime with him
  • Calling on the phone –> Make a date to meet up in person
With younger children, make it a point to eliminate distractions during your time together, such as at the dinner table, on the drive home from school, or when playing in the yard. Put away the devices, turn off the screens, and focus on being together and sharing real life experiences in a more intimate way.

 

To learn more about media and social connection, see our brand new Social Connection page.

P A R E N T  Q U E S T I O N S
 
Since moving, my teen son spends a lot of time connecting with his old friends through media instead of making new friends – what should I do?

A: It is normal for your son to be struggling with the move and for him to want to stay connected to his old friends. Moving to a new community can be an especially difficult transition for teenagers, who are figuring out who they are as individuals (separate from their parents) and rely heavily on peer relationships in that process. That said, if your son actually stays connected nearly 24/7 using YouNow, Skype, and video games with his old friends, he may end up spending much of his time trying to copy his former life instead of living his current one. As wonderful as these technologies can be for relaying images and sounds of people and places we love, they are still only images and sounds-they can never be as interesting, engaging, challenging, and sustaining as face-to-face interactions. Read the full answer here.

M E D I A  M O M E N T S  

 
Running Dialogue

Donna Lowe, of the John E. Robbins Library at Brandon University, shares how she bonds with students and hopes to inspire them by discussing music tastes and introducing them to her own favorites. Take a look at the full post and 

follow along every month at Ask The Mediatrician┬«.

R E S E A R C H   

Do teens care about online privacy?

According to one study, teens are using a variety of media platforms for social reasons, such as to express themselves and discover different communities–all while trying to maintain a sense of privacy. Read more.

S P E C I A L  F E A T U R E S

 
Summer F.U.N. Guide 2015  

Looking for enjoyable activities for your kids and teens? Check out our Summer F.U.N. Guide for inspiration. Read more.