Mar 27, 2023
Michael Jacobus has been working with teens for over 35 years as
a summer camp director. In 2018 he founded Reset Summer Camp to
address the needs of kids who found themselves escaping into
digital media and gaming in order to avoid the real-world. His
program will expand into Canada this summer and has launched an App
for teens and their families to help keep them on track,
- What are signs to look out for when we feel our teen may be
to-tuned-into digital media? Disengaging from family activities, if
they’d rather eat in their room instead of showing up for meals, if
their sleep pattern has them up late at night, if their grades are
starting to drop.
- Parents can take a healthy approach to digital media by not
denying their teen the right to play a game when they are focused
on having a healthy balance of life, family, sleep, studies,
outdoor activity, and interests beyond digital media.
- It used to be that when parents were young and played games as
kids, the game would be over. Games don’t end now so there’s a
bottomless spiral to turning them off.
- Teens lose their interpersonal skills and face to face ability
to interact when they become to involved with digital media.
- Parents can opt to take all digital media out of their teen’s
bedroom so when it’s time for bed, there are no distractions. Buy
an alarm clock so they will not wake up by a digital device that
will hook them as soon as they wake up.
- Fear of missing out is real for teens. It can cause anxiety,
emotional upset, and so much more, however when they find out later
what they were worried about, it generally ends up being
- Attention span in the average teen is down to about 8 seconds,
before they are looking for the next stimulus. Limiting their time
on digital media will greatly improve that statistic.
- Parents can manage future digital over-dose in their teen by
not letting them become a user until they can have a conversation
and follow parental guidelines on what the boundaries are for
- If your teen is interacting with people they don’t know, set up
a zoom call for them to meet and be included in that meeting, along
with a parent of theirs.
- Parents need to lead by example. Are they modeling good
behavior when using technology or do they model different
behaviors. Everyone in the household needs to adhere to the same
- Parents can help their teens find balance away from digital
media with practices such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation,
physical activity: giving them time to be present in the
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