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The Shift From Control to Connection: Parental Mediation Strategies That Support Digital Wellbeing

Training Overview

The Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH) is hosting a training presented by Erin Walsh, CO-Founder at Spark & Stitch Institute.

While dominant media narratives paint a simple equation that teens + screens = negative outcomes, the latest data point to a much more complicated picture. Unfortunately, this simplistic messaging too often positions parents simply as “on-off” regulators of adolescent media use and can lead to restrictive mediation strategies that backfire as children grow older. The nuances in the relationship between screen time and mental health require that helping professionals, caring adults and caregivers increase their knowledge of these issues and build a mediation toolkit that responds to the developmental needs of adolescents as well as the complexity of the digital world that young people are growing up in.

This workshop will briefly review some of the key takeaways in the research about screen time and mental health and explore why restrictive mediation strategies alone are insufficient to reduce harm and strengthen resilience. Participants will be asked to connect the dots between the developmental tasks of adolescents and the digital dilemmas and opportunities they navigate daily. Time will be spent reviewing additional effective mediation strategies that center adult-child connections, communication and compassion. Reflection prompts and Q&A will help participants make meaning of their learning.

This training is for everyone from all professions and will address early childhood to adolescence age.

Learning Objectives

  • Review key research takeaways on the relationship between screen time and adolescent mental health and wellbeing.
  • Explain parental mediation strategies and their impact on exposure to risk and adolescent risk behaviors.
  • Identify strategies associated with successful parental/adult mediation that are developmentally appropriate for tweens and teens.

About the Presenter

Erin Walsh is a parent, speaker, educator and writer. She has worked with communities across the country who want to better understand child and adolescent development and cut through conflicting information about kids and technology. Erin and her father, Dr. David Walsh, started together at the National Institute on Media and the Family before creating Spark & Stitch Institute in 2019. In addition to writing articles for several organizations including Bolster Collaborative and Psychology Today, she co-authored the 10th Anniversary Edition of the national bestseller Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen. Her signature down-to-earth approach and sense of humor helps families and educators engage in complicated topics and leave feeling capable and motivated. She has consulted with schools, school districts, parent groups and other youth serving organizations throughout North America on issues related to digital media, parenting, and social emotional development.

Register via MACMH

This training is anticipated to be approved for 0.5 hours of Cultural Competence Content and approved for 2 CEHs.


June 22, 2023
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health
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