Lucy Jo Palladino is an award-winning clinical psychologist, researcher, and author. She lectures about attention issues and trains educators and parents to teach kids how to pay attention.
Most fathers and mothers hope that their children will become proficient in their use of technology but worry about their overuse of computers, tablets, smart-phones, TVs, and game consoles. These "attention snatchers" become a problem when they devour all a child's time. To put it another way, involuntary attention is being swept away by the "hot stimuli" of digital media.
Palladino presents seven steps for teaching your child to pay attention:
- Get into the right mind-set.
- Be the change you want to see in your child.
- Practice the 3 Rs of good attention.
- Turn up real-world happiness.
- Think like a child, act like a parent.
- Become a focus-friendly family.
- Celebrate success but prepare for stronger snatchers.
The author shares the latest research on this topic and reflects upon some of the ways boys and girls can build self-control in the face of so many temptations. One of the most basic is overcoming FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
To illustrate how the world has changed, journalist Thomas Friedman has written:
"When I was growing up, my parents told me. 'Finish your dinner. People in China and India are starving.' I tell my daughters, 'Finish your homework. People in India and China are starving for your job.' "
Whether writing about awareness as kryptonite to attention snatchers, brain plasticity in children, the novelty gene, rethinking screentime, or teaching your children to deconstruct digital media, Palladino impresses with her in-depth understanding of the complexities of this Age of Distraction and its impact on the family.