'Screenagers' documentary highlights cyber safety

Triple P will present a free screening of “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age” along with two workshops and a cyber safety presentation to help parents establish rules and guidelines for their children to use technology safely and responsibly.

GOSHEN — After a first successful event in April, Triple P in Elkhart County is bringing a second free community screening of “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age” to Goshen Middle School, along with two Triple P workshops and a cyber safety presentation to help parents establish rules and guidelines for their children to use technology safely and responsibly.

Parents of pre-teens and teens are invited to come to this free screening 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, in the auditorium at Goshen Middle School, 1216 S. Indiana Ave. The documentary will be shown in English with subtitles in Spanish.

“Screenagers” addresses the most pervasive parenting issue of our time head on – depicting teen struggles over social media, video games, and internet addiction. The film empowers parents and their kids to safely navigate the digital world and provides practical resources to help them do it. Parents are invited to bring along their teens and pre-teens to watch the documentary and discuss the issues depicted.

From the “Screenagers” website: “Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that happening with her own kids and began a quest to uncover how it might impact their development. As with her other two award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.”

More than 90 parents and children attended a showing of “Screenagers” on April 17 at Goshen Middle School, and another 70 viewed the documentary on March 28 at NorthWood High School in Nappanee. Parents, grandparents, foster parents and other guardians of children around Elkhart County have identified screen-related issues as some of the most frustrating and confusing parenting challenges they face.

After the documentary, a panel of local residents and school officials will discuss the film with attendees. An interpreter will ensure both English and Spanish speaking audience members can fully participate. Those who are interested can go to bit.ly/screenagersgoshenmiddle to register.

The week following the showing of “Screenagers,” Goshen Community Schools will present a session on cyber safety for parents and children. School resource officer Tommy Steele and other Goshen schools staff will share important information about smartphones and apps, the Internet, video games, and other web-connected devices. This event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at Goshen Middle School in the Media Center. Participants may register for this event online at bit.ly/cybersafetygoshen

Triple P is also presenting a pair of 90-minute workshops on screen-time parenting issues in English and in Spanish at the Goshen Middle School in the two weeks after the film is shown. The times and topics are:

n 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9: Triple P workshop on setting effective rules and guidelines around technology for parents of pre-teens and teenagers (child care provided). Older children are welcome to attend this session and participate in the discussion alongside their parents.

Register in English at: bit.ly/screenteengoshen. Register in Spanish at: bit.ly/pantallaadolescentesgoshen

n 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16: Triple P workshop on setting effective rules and guidelines around technology for parents of younger children to age 12 (child care provided).

Register in English at: bit.ly/screenpreteengoshen. Register in Spanish at: bit.ly/pantallahijosgoshen.

Participants may also call Triple P’s bilingual phone line at 574-226-0160 to register for any of these events or to ask questions about them.

About Triple P Elkhart County:

One of the world’s best known parenting programs is now available in Elkhart County, with a range of courses and sessions to help make life easier – and happier – for all families.

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program – offers simple practical strategies have been proven to work around the world, helping parents manage everything from toddler tantrums to teenage rebellion. Services are offered to families at several community organizations including CAPS, RETA, Elkhart Community Schools and Goshen Community Schools. Triple P in Elkhart County is supported by the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, the Bontrager Foundation, the Goshen Health Foundation, Beacon Health and private donors.

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