2nd Edition

Screenwise Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World

By Devorah Heitner Copyright 2024
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    The second edition of Screenwise offers a refreshed, realistic, and optimistic perspective on how to thoughtfully guide kids in the digital age.

    Many parents feel that their kids are addicted, detached, or distracted because of their digital devices. Media expert Devorah Heitner, however, believes that technology offers huge potential to our children—if parents mentor them. Using the foundation of their own values and experiences, parents and educators can learn about the digital world to help set kids up for a lifetime of success in a world fueled by technology. Screenwise is a guide to understanding more about what it is like for children to grow up with technology all around them, and to recognizing the special challenges—and advantages—that contemporary kids and teens experience thanks to this level of connection. In it, Heitner presents practical parenting "hacks": quick ideas that you can implement today that will help you understand and relate to your digital native. The new edition includes updated material and additional strategies for parents and caretakers.

    Preface  Introduction  1. Raising Kids in An Always Connected World  2. Your Kid’s Digital World: What Are They Doing On There?  3. Assessing Your Own Digital Literacy  4. Becoming a Tech-Positive Parent  5. Empathy Is the App  6. Balancing Family Life in the Age of Constant Connection  7. Friendship and Dating in the Digital Age  8. School Life in the Digital Age  9. Growing Up in Public  Conclusion: Digital Citizenship for the Next Generation  Acknowledgements  Notes  References  Index  About the Author


    Devorah Heitner, PhD, wrote Screenwise for parents and educators seeking advice on how to help children thrive in a world of digital connectedness. She is a trusted authority for parents to turn to for empowering advice on raising resilient and kind kids in our always-connected world. The first edition of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World was an Amazon bestseller and widely praised, and Dr. Heitner’s writing has appeared in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN Opinion, and Fast Company, among others. Dr. Heitner is also a featured speaker at conferences and independent and public schools in the United States and abroad. She earned a PhD in media/technology and society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul University, Lake Forest College, and Northwestern.

    "Screenwise is the reassuring and engaging roadmap every parent needs to raise digitally savvy children. In this research-backed, practical guide, Heitner combines an understanding of child development with her extensive knowledge of the risks and many rewards of technology to give caregivers everything they need, from conversation starters to context, to confidently help their kids navigate their online worlds ethically, constructively, and even joyfully!"

    Phyliss Fagell, LCPC author of Middle School Matters

    "Raising kids in the digital age can feel like being stuck on roller coaster with no endpoint. The more you begin to understand how kids utilize technology, the more new platforms pop up. Screenwise takes the focus off of parental control and places it on parental understanding. By meeting kids where they are and learning to navigate technology together, parents can help their kids build healthy tech habits that will last a lifetime. Screenwise weaves together research and prescriptive advice to help parents do just that." 

    Katie Hurley, LCSW, author of No More Mean Girls 

    “For  all  parents  who  feel  like  they  can’t  keep  up  with  today’s  technology,  Devorah  Heitner  has  come  to  the  rescue.  Screenwise  doesn’t  judge  or preach. It is full of empathy and insight, providing gems of guidance based on years of deep research and real talk with real kids. A pleasure to read.”

    Lisa Guernsey, author of Tap, Click, Read and Screen Time; director, Learning Technologies Project, New America

    “Don’t let your kids’ tech life stress you out. Grab Screenwise and get the good news and strategies you need to guide your kids (or let them safely guide you) into a smart and savvy digital life.”

    Deborah Gilboa, MD, parenting and youth development expert at Ask Dr. G

    “A must-read for twenty-first century parents! Parenting the digital gen-eration requires complex skills that I frankly didn’t have—until now. Empowered by Dr. Heitner’s timely book, I feel infinitely more prepared to guide my son and daughter through the advantages and perils of modern-day connectedness. Issues like trust, relationships, security, and balance are handled deftly by an expert who clearly knows the territory and shares her knowledge in a relatable way. Every modern-day parent should read this book. Highly recommended.”

    Mary O’Donohue, author of When You Say “Thank You,” Mean It: And 11 Other Lessons for Instilling Lifelong Values In Your Children

    “Find your way from ‘screenworried’ to ‘screenwise.’ It’s time to get over your techno-guilt and become a more competent and confident media mentor—an enthusiastic tour guide and mindful role model—for your child in the digital age. In these pages you’ll find affirmation, encouragement, a gentle nudge or two about your own media use, and practical strategies to help you become a ‘tech positive parent.’”

    Chip Donohue, PhD, director, Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute

    “Devorah has tackled the challenging, modern issue of raising kids in today’s digital world head-on. Screenwise gives practical ideas and advice for parents struggling with this issue and really enables them to turn what could be a problem into an opportunity. As an administrator in a highly successful 1-to-1 mobile device school district, I face many of the challenges outlined in this book on an almost daily basis. Screenwise will help not only the parents in our district, but also the teachers when it comes to ideas and strategies for truly helping kids thrive in their digital world.”

    Carl Hooker, director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, founder of iPadpalooza, author of the Mobile Learning Mindset book series

    “This book is full of calming words and constructive suggestions for today’s parents who are anxious about their children’s immersion in digital media. Grounded in the latest research, it will help parents develop their resourcefulness in navigating what can seem like a worrying new world.”

    Sonia Livingstone, author of The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age

    Screenwise is a practical guide for parents and families trying to navigate childhood in the digital age. Not a ‘one-size-fits-all approach,’ this book is about gaining confidence and resolve to make the informed, intentional choices that will work best for you and your family.  The scenarios and solutions outlined are developmentally on-target for the ages addressed, whether toddlers or teenagers. Heitner possesses a clear and direct voice that will help parents find the path that works for them.”

    Jennifer Farrington, president & CEO, Chicago Children’s Museum

    “Dr. Heitner offers smart, tech-positive advice for parents on how to be good mentors for children, and on how to best use technology rather than trying to monitor every single online exchange. We appreciate the age-appropriate advice on how to balance autonomy and support.”

    Tom Vander Ark, author of Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning