By Joyce Coronel
Hey, mom and dad, put down that phone and pay attention. The Kyrene School District is launching its 2019-2020 Positive Parenting Series with an event to help parents deal with the negative effects of smartphones and social media.
To that end, they’ve hired social media activist Collin Kartchner, who has travelled the country with his “Save the Kids” message about the negative effects of screen addiction and how to rise above the phenomenon.
Kartchner will speak to students at Kyrene Middle School on Tuesday, Aug.13, and at Pueblo and Aprende middle schools on Aug. 14.
A community event for the public will take place in the auditorium at 6 p.m. at Corona del Sol High School and is open to the community.
With more than 500 speaking engagements so far on this topic, Kartchner draws a crowd and standing ovations.
His website, savethekids.us, states the bold message students, parents, faculty and administrators will hear loud and clear at the upcoming events:
Social media’s negative effects on youth mental health and too much screen-time comprise the underlying link to the current epidemic rise in teen depression and anxiety, eating disorders, self-harming, suicide ideation and suicide itself.
“We must teach our kids that their worth does not come from likes, followers, or Snapchat streaks. As the world shouts constantly to them that “You are not enough,’ we need to shout “You are perfect just the way you are!’” a portion of the website states.
Smart phones, Kartchner says, are the “new drug of choice in homes” that have fostered a disconnect between parents and their children, distracting people from what’s truly important and persuading them that the number of “likes” someone has on a post equals self-worth.
His 5-by-5-inch parent sticker, available on his website for a $10 donation, proclaims “Showing your kids you love them is 2% effort and 98% just putting down your phone.”