When work is online, communication is online, entertainment is online and it’s all 24/7…it can be hard to get offline. We get it! So we’re happy to share so much helpful info from from tech health expert, author, Austin-based dad, and Psychology Today columnist, Dr. Mike Brooks.

We are particularly fascinated by his description of exactly how much time a day on screens is the right amount of time — and what happens , to both kids and to us, when we start going over.

It’s so helpful to have someone supportive and encouraging finally name a number, you know? And it’s based on everything from psychology to neuropsychology, evolutionary science and cognitive research.

(PS listen and see if you can catch the Joy Division reference he drops. Liz was pretty stoked about that!)

Dr. Brooks also discusses topics like:

-whether it’s okay to use screen time for rewards and punishment
-how to create “sacred spaces” in your home without gadgets
-engaging in collaborative problem-solving with kids to solve screen time challenges
-how to know if your parenting rules and consequences are not working
-examining the new Common Sense Media study about teens and screen time critically
-creating a “tech-happy life model”
-differentiating between recreational screen time and useful screen time
-sleep deprivation related to tech (an idea echoed by recent Spawned guests KJ Dell’Antonia and Jessica N. Turner)
-making more time for in-person connections, which is as important as eating well for our health!
-establishing overall foundation for effective parenting
-putting screen time to the best possible use

After all, tech is not bad! And it’s not going anywhere. We just have to use it mindfully and thoughtfully so we love his encouraging, helpful expertise.

Listen right here right now!

You can also listen¬†on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or your favorite podcasting app.¬† And be sure to¬†subscribe to Spawned with Kristen + Liz (it’s easy), so that you never miss an episode.

You can also learn more Dr. Mike Brooks on his site TechHappyLife.com, read his Tech Happy Life column on Psychology Today, and visit his new video series for parents on YouTube.

And find his new book Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World from our affiliate Amazon (also for Kindle) or from your local library or independent bookseller.

This Week’s Awesome Sponsor: Epic!

Epic! is an amazing digital library subscription for kids used by more and more schools today to get kids reading | sponsor

If you have kids who are readers (or could be a little bit more), you have to know Epic! Especially with this fantastic free offer that really helps kids make the most of screen time.

Epic’s¬†award-winning digital library¬†gives kids 12 and under unlimited access to a beautifully curated collection of over 25,000 of the best children’s books, from Fancy Nancy, and Flat Stanley, to Warriors,The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Andrea Beaty’s Ada Twist and Rosie Revere¬†bio series, Rita Williams Garcia’s¬†One Crazy Summer¬†and so many of the award-winners we all love our kids reading.

You’ll find chapter books, early readers, audio books, graphic novels, non-fiction titles, educational books, and learning videos, with each recommendation personalized to suit your own child’s interests and reading level. That’s why so many schools across the country use it for classroom reading.

There are even great parental tools through the parent dashboard to help you make your own recommendations, track progress,and more, all in a totally safe environment for kids.

Special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers:
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Our Cool Picks of the Week

D&D: Recommended by digital health experts for getting kids offline, building imagination, and giving them opportunities to be their own heroes

Dr. Mike: He’s rediscovered his teen love for Dungeons & Dragons! How awesome is that? We love how he describes how much magic there is in imagination, and how great it is for kids to have the chance to be heroic. Shown here: The brand new D&D Waterdeep Dragon Heist for levels 1-5.

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Highly recommend for parent-time binge watching!

Kristen:¬†She’s been totally sucked into Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, starring John Krasinski (or “Jim from The Office,” to Kristen) — with the suggestion to get past the first episode which is a little slow.¬†