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Logo of Spark & Stitch Institute with Dr. David Walsh and Erin Walsh

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  • CONNECTED: How to Show Up For Your Kids in the Digital Age

COVID-19 means that, whether we like it or not, we are all spending more time with screens. Your ability to stay connected to your child and give them the skills they need to navigate digital opportunities and challenges is more critical now than ever before.

This self-study online class will give you:

More confidence

You will understand why your child or teen needs you to be their digital mentor while getting equipped with the knowledge and practical skills you need to excel in this critical role.

More clarity

You will work through a series of reflective exercises to help you and your family set priorities and make a clear plan for the changes you want to make.

More connection

You will practice creative ways to connect with your child both on and offline and complete this course with your family’s own inspiring set of commitments to connection.

Two Tempting Approaches to Screen Time That Can Backfire

  • The Yell and Unplug

    You feel like media is a mindless waste of time. You worry about addiction and online predators. You’re convinced that every minute spent online impacts your child’s development in negative ways and have a lot of anxiety about the time your kid is spending in front of a screen.

    You believe your job as a parent in the digital age is to protect your child or teenager from the harmful risks of screens, devices, and social media. Your answer to most media related requests is usually, “No.”

  •  The Plug In and Run Away

    You are really tired. You don’t feel like engaging in power struggles or fights around screen time or media use. You have no idea what your kid is doing on their phone or console and you are too overwhelmed to find out.

    For the most part, you give your kid the devices they asked for over and over and over and you think that if they wanted it so bad, they must know how to use it. You often close the door, walk away, and let them do their thing.

There is a different way. 

You can become an engaged and influential digital mentor.

Here is what you can expect in this self-study online class:

This course is designed as a self-study. This means that you can work through the content on your own schedule and timeline! To help you dive in, you will get access to a new “Spark” every week for first three weeks. Watch short videos and work through downloads on your own time while getting your questions answered in comments and in our Spark & Stitch classes Facebook group. Then access for a full year so you can revisit the content when you and your kids need it most.

SPARK 1: Connect and Communicate

We get started by explaining why you are already your teenager’s digital mentor, whether you realize it or not.

Highlights:

  • What does an effective Digital Mentor do? Defining and clarifying the role.
  • Reflective exercises to help you understand the digital parenting style you have now and how to become the Digital Mentor your child needs.
  • Exercises to help you catch your kid’s digital strengths.
  • Suggestions for how to handle online challenges.

SPARK 2: Rest and Rejuvenate

It’s hard work to change our relationships with screens. One way to stay motivated through the inevitable push-back is learning the brain science behind when and where kids benefit from digital breaks.

Highlights include: 

  • Why your child needs sleep.
  • The significance of boredom.
  • How moving your body positively impacts your brain.
  • The relationship between spacing out, imagination, and goal setting.
  • Pep talks that acknowledge how and why habit change is hard and tips to keep going.

SPARK 3: Focus and Fire Up

One of the most precious mental resources we have is our attention. Learn more about how to help your child focus attention in a world full of distractions.

Highlights include:

  • Why your child needs you to teach them the art of singletasking.
  • Reactive vs. focused attention.
  • Dopamine and your child’s brain on technology.
  • The attention economy and practicing mindful media habits.
  • Get Started Now

    1 Payment of $45

    ENROLL

Money Back Guarantee

Nobody’s time is more precious and valuable than that of a parent. By the end of this course you will have received over twelve engaging video lessons, three strategy-packed downloadable guides, and had the opportunity to engage in an online community.

We are confident that if you really engage in this course, you will feel the difference in how you parent in the digital age. If you don’t see the value – we will give you your money back.

If, after you have engaged with the videos and demonstrated that you’ve worked through the materials and exercises, you still aren’t satisfied, you can reach out to the Spark & Stitch team and we’ll work with you to get your money back.

If you are a parent who feels simultaneously grateful for and resentful of technology right now, then you already know that parenting in a pandemic is confusing at best. If you feel like you are holding back the tide of total media takeover and crave digital balance for your family, then you already know that the path forward is not always clear.

Staying grounded in your values and staying connected to your child during this time demands extra guidance, problem solving, and support.

Your child doesn’t need you to be their online friend but they need you to be more than a distant offline relative. They need you to be their digital mentor, even if you don’t think you’re equipped for the job.

As a parent raising a child in the heart of the digital revolution, there is no opting out of this role.

I know you can do this. This class is here to support you!

Get started now

Erin Walsh sitting in her home officeErin Walsh, Course Instructor and Founder of Spark & Stitch Institute


I’ve designed workshops and delivered keynotes on technology’s impact on child health and development to thousands of parents across North America for over twenty years. Parents everywhere are searching for strategies and ideas for navigating escalating screen time challenges. This short course delivers the foundational parenting mindset and strategies that minimize online risks while taking advantage of online opportunities.


Here is what you are getting when you get started today:


  • 12 short video lessons
  • 12 downloads that include more information, practical strategies, reflection prompts, and exercises
  • A Family Media Priorities Plan
  • An original, customized Commitment to Connection printable poster for your home
  • Access to social community
  • One year access to the content

CONNECTED

is the only online class of its kind that

Builds on your strengths instead of exploiting your fears.

Too often, conversations about screen time and kids orbit around worry and fear regardless of whether they are backed up by the research. This course is grounded in the evidence so that you can clearly identify when to worry and when to relax.

Stitches science to your daily struggles.

I’m a parent too. This course does rely on brain science and research but doesn’t float above the messy realities of parenting. Instead, it is designed to be reliable, accessible and actionable.

Offers clear, transformational strategies that you can adapt to fit your family.

Study after study offers a common set of ingredients that children need to thrive in the digital age. But your family and your child are also unique. This course shares those critical ingredients while delivering interactive, reflective exercises that allow you to craft strategies that works for you.

Reminds you that media are part of a larger whole

Many of the solutions to our most pressing screen time challenges aren’t about technology at all. They are about what it takes to raise kind, connected, and courageous humans. Certainly this course will help you work through your media-specific issues, but it will also inspire you to look at the big picture and strengthen your family’s commitment to connection.

Questions people ask before starting this class:

Will this course help me support my child with online or hybrid learning?

All of the strategies in this course are more relevant now than ever before. The course helps you practice skills and build connections that are protective during the pandemic and useful well beyond it. You will also get access to a private Facebook group where you can ask Erin questions and interact with other families navigating similar challenges.

Will you answer my specific questions in this course about ______(insert specific video game here) or this _____(insert social media platform here)?

This class is not designed to take a deep dive into specific apps, games, or platforms. This course is not about how to operate the latest iPhone. Instead, you will learn the foundational mindset and parenting strategies that will help you navigate any challenge as it arises. Apps come and go; these strategies will help you remain consistent, engaged, and helpful as tech changes.

How much time will it take me to do this class?

This course is a “spotlight” course which means it is designed to be short, sweet, and fit into your busy life. That said, the old cliche, “Whatever you put into this is what you will get out of it” really does apply here. We’ve carefully designed the videos and guides to get you the most important information and strategies in a compelling and succinct way while also allowing for a deeper dive for those who want to take it. 

Each video is five-minutes or less. You can work through the guides on your own time. So plan on at least 6 hours of watching and writing that you can do all at once or bit by bit. You will have a full year of access to the course so you can come back and watch the videos again and again and re-visit the prompts and exercises whenever you need a refresher.  

What is a "spotlight" course?

A spotlight class means that we design the course to be relatively short, accessible, and actionable. This course does not try to cover all things related to tech and kids. It does teach you the parenting mindset and foundational strategies that will help you navigate screen time challenges and opportunities as they arise.

Our signature courses are longer, more comprehensive, and require more time and energy to complete.

What if the information and ideas don’t fit my situation?

Parenting is complicated. Kids are complicated. Don’t believe anyone who says that they will solve every challenge in one online class. That said, we have worked hard to make the information accessible and the homework concrete so that you are constantly translating big ideas into strategies that work for you and your child.

Should I still take the class if I have seen you speak before about kids and technology?

I think so! I love delivering keynote addresses and writing books. Sometimes, however, keynotes only have time for an over-packed WHY and leave you hanging when it comes to the details of HOW and WHAT NOW? It’s also really common for only one person in a parenting team to attend a workshop, leaving you to translate the information for your parenting partner. 

This class will give you the chance to digest information on your own time, get access to guides packed full of more practical strategies, and troubleshoot challenges as they arise. You also get to decide when and where it makes the most sense to engage in this content.

Do I only have access to the class for a short window of time? What happens after the class?

When you start this self-study course, you will get access to a new module or “Spark” every week for the first three weeks. This will help you dive right in and fully engage as you get started. Then you will have access for a full year so you can always come back to it!

You might choose to revisit certain sections when confronted with a challenge, dive into the exercises more fully when you have more time, or run through the whole thing again for a refresher. You do you.

What age or stage of parenting is this course for?

Let’s be honest. Our kids’ worlds are expanding into online spaces earlier and earlier. While this course does not address media in early childhood (that’s for another course!), it is really relevant for parents of kids from late elementary through high school. It is never too early to be prepared for what’s to come and it’s never too late to claim your role as digital mentor.

What if I am not a parent?

While this class is certainly packed with “home-based” strategies, anyone who cares about kids can get a lot out of it. The information is relevant to educators, aunties, uncles,  grandparents, and youth serving professionals. We invite you to translate the information and strategies into your own context.

How much access do I get to Erin?

I am excited to be with you on this journey and support your engagement in the course and the materials! I will be in the online community to interact and answer your questions.

This class is not a way to receive therapeutic support, clinical guidance, or receive one-to-one consultation. I am happy to provide recommendations for resources in your area and I will offer a library of online resources for additional support around specific challenges as well.

Can you remind me of everything I’m getting when I sign up for this class?

Here is what you are getting when you enroll today:

  • 12 short video lessons
  • 12 downloads that include more information, practical strategies, reflection prompts, and exercises
  • A Family Media Priorities Plan
  • An original, customized Commitment to Connection printable poster for your home
  • Access to private social community for support, Q&A, and conversation

 

Get Started Now

5 ways to know you are ready to join me in this course:

 

  • You are concerned that more screen time might mean more digital challenges like cyberbullying, mental health concerns, or addiction.
  • You don’t want to keep worrying about how increased screen time will impact you child without clear guidance on what really matters and what to do about it. You want solid information and clear strategies to navigate the road ahead.
  • You’ve read parenting books or articles about technology and kids but seem to fall back into old habits of either plugging in and walking away or unplugging and saying no.
  • You are eager for a class that allows you to learn when and where you want to and allows you to tailor strategies to fit who you are.
  • You know that there are different ways to handle technology in your family system but you don’t exactly know what they are or where to begin.

 

If you said yes to at least 3 of the above, we can’t wait to meet you inside Connected: How to Show Up For Your Kids in the Digital Age

  • Get Started Now

    1 Payment of $45

    ENROLL

“Media and technology are not inherently good or bad, they are powerful. The good or bad depend upon how we use them.”