PORTLAND, Maine — (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Studies have shown that too much screen time can be harmful for children, but how can parents allow their children to explore technology, while raising them to be social and active? We took that question to our tech guru, Rich Brooks of Flyte New Media, and his father, Dr. Bob Brooks, a clinical psychologist, author, and speaker.
"Resilience for me is the capacity to bounce back from adversity. It doesn't mean you're not going to face adversity, we all are, but when you do you have ways of coping with it," says Dr. Brooks. "What we have found interestingly enough, resilient children and adults, what helps them to be resilient is when they feel like they are making a positive difference in someone else's life."
That gets complicated in the digital world.
Dr. Brooks references a recent study that shows children are not sleeping as much or getting enough exercise with screen time longer than 2 hours a day. With the internet at our fingertips, we're more connected than ever before, but also less connected than ever before, says Dr. Brooks. If children aren't getting that face to face interaction, they're less likely to feel empathy.
"It's about finding balance," says Rich Brooks, who admits it's a different world. "With my kids, if I get upset with their behavior or performance and I want to take away their phone it's like, 'Well then we can't do our homework.'"
Brooks says he finds himself looking for other methods to get his children to listen, rather than take away something that connects them to their friends, like get exercise or clean up the house.
Dr. Brooks adds that it's important to be a charismatic role model in a child's life. What does that mean?
"It's a person from whom a child gathers strength," he says. Part of being that support system means practicing what you preach. If you're telling your child to limit their screen time, and you're not, what message does that send the child?
For more information on Dr. Bob Brooks, click here.