Presentation to help parents manage today's digital world

Social media’s impacts on children and adolescents will be the focus of The Cyber Child: Effects of Social Media — the first installment of the 2016-17 Parent Information Series presented by Wilton Youth Council’s Parent Connection — at Wilton Library on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

During the presentation, psychologist Chris Parrott will leverage current research to help parents understand the impact of social media and share strategies to help them support their children’s overall well-being.

“There are two main aspects of my talk — the neurological, social and educational implications of social media, and what parents can do,” said Parrott.

“One of the things I want to educate parents on is how social media and technology affects the developing child and adolescent mind. It’s really important for them to understand.”

Parrott said she will also discuss what parents can do to “make sure their children’s experience in the digital world is a positive one” and what they can do to help them become “positive and responsible digital citizens.”

“A lot of people get worried and say the digital world is horrible and all these terrible things are going to happen,” said Parrott, “but what I’m trying to focus more on is what we, as parents, can do.”

As a psychologist, Parrott said, she “constantly” hears from parents who are worried about the long-term impact the digital world will have on their child’s social behavior.

“A lot of parents say their kids seem really disconnected,” said Parrott, “and we’ve all heard stories about teens being in a room together, but they’re all on their phones instead of interacting with each other.”

Not only are parents concerned about how today’s social media-centric world is affecting face-to-face interactions, said Parrott, they’re also concerned about “the predators, dangers and long-term impact that posting things online can have on a child’s life.”

“Those are concerns many parents have, and I try to give them strategies to reduce those risks,” she said.

Parrott said the essential message she tries to send is “parenting in the digital world means managing the digital world — not trying to control it.”

“The best way that you can do that is by staying connected with your child,” she said.

Parrott encourages anyone “trying to better their parenting practices or who have concerns about social media and technology” to attend her Cyber Child talk.

“Technology, social media, the digital world — it’s here to stay,” she said.

“It can connect us or it can disconnect us, but we really do have the power to make it something that’s really positive rather than something that’s negative.”

Parrott is a member of the American Psychological Association and the British Psychological Society, co-founder of the YourSelf Series, and ambassador for LinkedIn’s largest parenting network, Parenting 2.0.

After her presentation, Parrott will be available to address any questions or concerns people may have.

Attendance at The Cyber Child is free, but registration is strongly encouraged. For more information or to register, visit wiltonlibrary.org.

Parent Information Series


The last two Parent Information Series presentations are:

  • Feb. 1: “Raise Your Child to Be a Resilient Adult” with Tracey Masella, program manager of Silver Hill Hospital’s teen transitional living program.

  • March 7: “Delay Your Gray: How to Keep Your Teenager Safe and Yourself Sane” with Insight Counseling director Elizabeth Jorgensen.


All presentations will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road.

To learn more about the series, visit wiltonyouth.org.