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Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post. Although I was compensated by Charlotte Parent with a payment, product, or something else of value in exchange for writing this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Last Friday Charlotte Parent presented “Mom Matters: How to be a Media-Savvy Mom” featuring two local experts who introduced practical strategies and approaches for parents to make wise choices in the digital age. This informative discussion on kids and technology couldn't have come at a better time!

Melanie HempeMelanie Hempe, Founder of Moms Managing Media, discussed “12 Tips for Balancing Technology and Childhood”. Melanie opened her talk with the story of her son's gaming overuse, the degree it affected her family, and how that experience influenced the way she approached media with her other children.

Melanie has a simple three-question assessment that helps parents gain perspective on gaming balance.

“Can your child name three things he/she likes as well or better than gaming?”

“What does your child reach for when he/she needs down time?

“What do you immediately think of when getting a gift for your child?

Melanie explained, “Four quarters equal a whole. If your child is 25% interested in games he is probably fine. If he chooses gaming 50% or more, you may be headed for conflict.”

After listening to Melanie's talk, and reviewing her Gaming Overuse Check List for Parents, I realized our family has a major technology addiction. My two oldest do not go anywhere without their phone and iPod Touch. If they aren't on the computer, iPad or iPod, they are playing the Xbox. My 12 year old, once a voracious reader, now spends the majority of her free time watching YouTube videos. And all of them spend WAY too much time on Minecraft!

The Battle for their minds

The first thing I did when I got home after the luncheon was declare a “No-Tech Weekend”. I locked up all the electronics… iPods, iPad, 3DS, laptops, and the Xbox. And as you can imagine, I was not the favorite parent at that moment. But we mapped out a plan of action for the weekend: attend a Build and Grow program at Lowe's, meet friends for ice cream, visit the Farmers' Market and walk around downtown. And we had a great time.

Some of Melanie's tips included:

  • Put the Xbox, TVs and TV remotes out of sight and keep them out of Kid's bedroom.
  • No phones or screens at the dinner table.
  • No screens first thing in the morning right before school or at bedtime.
  • Establish a daily family reading time.
  • Create screen-free days for your family.

[stextbox id=”alert” bwidth=”1″ color=”656A92″ bcolor=”656A92″ bgcolor=”FAFAFA” bgcolorto=”E6E6E6″]Download Melanie's Gaming Overuse Check-List for Parents here.[/stextbox]

Melanie Hempe, Moms Managing Media
Charlotte mom Melanie Hempe is passionate about helping families balance technology with childhood. She offers busy parents easy-to-follow scientific information and practical solutions for real homes with children of all ages, and is one of the founders of Moms Managing Media.

For more information, connect with Melanie!



Michelle IcardMichelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover, educator and social leadership strategist, spoke on the topic “Teach Your Child to Solve Any Problem”.

Problem Solving Path

To receive Michelle's Problem Solving Path FREE, sign up for her mailing list here.

“Teaching your child to solve his or her own problem is one of the most important life skills you can give as a parent.” 

You can't always be there to help your child, and as much as you may want to, you can't solve all of their problems. Children need critical thinking and problem solving skills to help navigate through life.

By incorporating Michelle's Problem Solving Path into your parenting skills you “instill confidence and high self-esteem because your child believes she can take care of herself.” 

Here are some of the steps Michelle shared from her Problem Solving Path:

  • Listen with a neutral face while your kid talks about the problem.
  • Ask how the problem makes him/her feel.
  • Ask your child to come up with a list of ways he could solve the problem. Promise not to react negatively to any of the ideas.
  • Let your child pick the solution with the best outcome for him.

What If There Were A Way...

[stextbox id=”alert” bwidth=”1″ color=”656A92″ bcolor=”656A92″ bgcolor=”FAFAFA” bgcolorto=”E6E6E6″]To receive Michelle's Problem Solving Path FREE, sign up for her mailing list here.[/stextbox]

Michelle Icard, Michelle in the Middle
Author, educator, and social leadership strategist, Michelle Icard helps adults feel more confident about guiding kids through the tween and teen social world. Michelle is the author of Middle School Makeover: Improving The Way You And Your Kid Experience The Middle School Years, and she created the social leadership curriculum, Athena's Path & Hero's Pursuit, which is used in schools across the country. Her website is

For more information, connect with Michelle!


[stextbox id=”info” bwidth=”1″ color=”656A92″ bcolor=”656A92″ bgcolor=”FAFAFA” bgcolorto=”E6E6E6″ mleft=”5″ mright=”5″ mtop=”5″ mbottom=”5″]Mom Matters is an event series from Charlotte Parent. These two-hour luncheons are a dynamic and engaging way for moms to learn new approaches to parenting and family health. Save the date for the next Mom Matters Luncheon “Balancing Work, Family, Life” on Friday, October 16 at 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. There will be lunch, networking, goody bags, door prizes and more! Tickets go on sale August 1st! Use code MOMS5OFF to receive $5 off the registration fee. Hope to see you there![/stextbox]

Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post. Although I was compensated by Charlotte Parent via a cash payment, product, or something else of value in exchange for writing this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.