We know about 70% of parents say that tech use is a constant battle in their home. And I think that we need to recognize that issue goes beyond tech. It really is impacting our relationships, our attachment with our children, their sense of identity, even self esteem.Dr. Dr. Shimi Kang

Monitoring our kids' tech use is one of our biggest challenges as parents. In this episode, I chat with Dr. Shimi Kang about strategies for raising our kids with a healthy "tech diet." We discuss several of the concepts from her new book, The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing Up in a Digital World.

ABOUT DR. SHIMI KANG

Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning, Harvard-trained doctor, researcher, media expert, writer, and keynote speaker who specializes in how the mind works. Dr. Kang provide science-based solutions for innovation, leadership, wellness, and resilience. She's spent over 20 years in researching, treating, and working with people from all walks of life. Dr. Kang is passionate about providing science-based tools that optimize the power of the human brain. She is the founder of Dolphin Kids: Future-Ready Leaders, CEO of Spark Mindset App, and host of the YouTube show; “Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang”.

Her books have been released in 12 countries around the world and her newest title, The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing up in a Digital World, is now available!

Shimi Kang

Dr. Shimi Kang


BIG IDEAS

• The tech we consume impacts our minds, just like the food we consume impacts our bodies, knowing that then now we can start to help them understand that toxic tech is any tech that releases that stress response.

• We have to understand that technology is like no other product that has come before. There's something called persuasive design. This is a deliberate use of very sophisticated neuroscience. Our dopamine pathways are being used to really get us attracted and keep us on screens. 

• The good news is that habits can always change. We have something called neuroplasticity, which means we can always build new pathways. 

• I talk about future ready kids having the C’s of 21st century learning. Children who understand communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and contribution. All of these are gonna be played out online as much as real life. That's going to be the new future ready child and adults. 

QUOTES

Shimi: Even before the pandemic, tech was one of the number one issues on parents and educators minds, it really hit us very quickly. Then the pandemic came and now we really realize that this is not something that we can kind of look at in a black and white way, good or bad. We really have to go deeper in understanding our relationship with technology.

Shimi: Well, first of all, you're absolutely right, Audrey. It is a number one parenting issue. We know about 70% of parents say that tech use is a constant battle in their home. And I think that we need to recognize that the issue goes beyond tech. It really is impacting our relationships, our attachment with our children, their sense of identity, even self esteem, because when there's so much conflict, it really does have more greater impacts. And secondly, we use this idea of screen time. And of course now it's impossible to count time in minutes, we really have to go to screen quality. And what tech is doing to our brain, there is now very good science, that we didn't have before in terms of what exactly is happening in the brains of the developing mind, the young brain. We know that there's healthy tech and that if we could pivot towards that, with a deeper understanding collaboratively, now we can set the stage for healthy habits that they could take into adulthood and beyond.

Shimi: Now the junk tech is a little bit tricky. It's a bit like junk food, but really just like eating a bag of chips mindlessly. When we're mindlessly scrolling through social media or zoning out with a video game, that's a bit of junk tech, that's dopamine, and you want to limit and monitor that just like candy and chips and you want to consume the healthy tech.

Audrey: I think adults are struggling as much as kids.

Shimi: The side effect of that though is the addiction, is the anxiety, depression, is the compulsive use and the loss of boundaries and time.

Audrey: It's just been crazy how we just started using all this stuff without really knowing where it was going to take us.

Shimi:I have something called a family reset plan and it's a six step plan to help families.

Shimi: I say tech is like fire. If you don't know how to use it, you will burn the house down. If you do know how to use it, it will advance us as a civilization.

Shimi: Have a family reset. Don't single out one person, say ‘we're all in this together’, set some bite-size goals, use motivational techniques.

Shimi: The book has solutions for each aspect of tech use, for connection, for health, for creativity, for the addiction piece.

Shimi: I believe that we can really develop a powerful, positive relationship with tech.

Shimi: I kind of coined this term homotechiest (SP?), which is the next step of human evolution. Really it is allowing us to access knowledge and information and connect in really profound ways.

Shimi: So don't be afraid to use technology.

Shimi: We know the pathway of the tech addiction is very similar to all other addictions as well. So there are certain risk factors, you know, risk factors would be any other mental health issue, if you already have some anxiety, depression, or ADHD.

Shimi: I feel that sometimes we need to look outside ourselves to see ourselves and nature is a great example of that.

Audrey: I sure hope this massive worldwide reset that this pandemic has caused will help us come out the other end with prioritizing those things more. Cause I do agree that I think we've been, everyone's been running so frantically and not taking the time to prioritize what's most important. And I think that looking at our tech use is a great start. If we put more time into our playing and our connecting and our resting and regrouping, that naturally needs to mean less tech.


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