Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age

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Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age

by Yalda Uhls

Is social media ruining our kids? How much internet activity is too much? What do FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), sexting, and selfies mean for teens? Are you curious about what research says about how media and technology are impacting childhood? Supported by academic research focused on technology, Media Moms & Digital Dads breaks down complex issues in a friendly, accessible fashion, making it a highly useful and, ultimately, reassuring read for anyone worries about the impact that media might be having on young minds. Dr. Uhls ends each chapter with summaries of the science, bottom lines for quick takeaways, and tips and guidance for parents. Each chapter delves into a different issue, so parents can easily turn to their own particular needs and skip what doesn't concern them.

Dr Uhls expertise as former Hollywood executive and current expert on child development and media gives her a unique and important perspective. As a trained scientist she understands the fascinating studies conducted by researchers, and as a mom of digital teens, she knows what actually works and can relate to the reality of being a parent in the 21st century. Dr. Uhls also describes the research she conducted at UCLA (extensively reported on in news outlets such as the NY Times, NPR and Time Magazine) including her studies about fame and social media and about whether the extensive time we stare at screens impacts non verbal emotional understanding.

Chapters (with descriptions of research, bottom lines and guidance for parents) include:

  • Forward by the CEO from the national, non-profit Common Sense Media
  • Overview of parenting in the digital age 
  • Screen time for babies and toddlers
  • The Mobile Era
  • The Digital Brain
  • Social Media and Social Lives
  • Fame, FOMO and selfies
  • The Digital Brain
  • Learning in the Digital Age
  • Education in the Digital Age
  • Video games

There are few hotter parenting issues today than helping our children safely navigate they digital world in which we live. It provides both immense opportunity for learning and connecting and yet great opportunity for making mistakes and harm. Knowing what the facts are and when and how to get involved is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of parenting. Media Moms & Digital Dads offers parents reassuring and fact based guidance on how best to manage screens and media for their children.


“Media Moms & Digital Dads does what every parent who has confronted the ‘digital wild west’ with their children so badly needs! Yalda T. Uhls seamlessly blends groundbreaking research, engaging storytelling, and practical advice. It is a must-read for every parent who is attempting to navigate a challenging media culture that is here to stay.” – Michael H. Levine PhD, Founding Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and co-author, Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens

“This book explains how technology has transformed the world of children’s education and entertainment, and shows parents that such change is not to be feared! Yalda’s deep knowledge of the research and her expertise in child psychology along with her many years as a storyteller in Hollywood make for a unique, important, and engaging perspective. As a parent and a creator of children’s content, I appreciate Yalda’s guidance and approach; the book is indispensable for the modern age.” – Lisa Henson, Chief Executive Officer of The Jim Henson Company, executive producer on the Emmy®- nominated preschool series "Sid the Science Kid," and “Dinosaur Train”

“What's the best way to parent when it comes to technology? The good news is that someone has finally organized the most current research to help you make the best choices for your family. Yalda T. Uhls combines her experience as a social scientist and an entertainment executive to help make you a better Media Mom or Digital Dad.” – Cara Natterson, Pediatrician and NY Times best selling author of The American Girl: The Care and Keeping of You 1 & 2

“I’m so grateful for this book! Dr. Uhls offers practical, anxiety-reducing strategies for managing kids’ media use. As a mom, she knows only too well that trying to block all access is futile. Instead she helps parents ‘fight fun with fun’ by making screen time happier and healthier.”– Peggy Orenstein, author, Cinderella Ate My Daughter

“Educators and parents need unbiased and realistic approaches to the digital world so they can guide the next generation. In Media Moms & Digital Dads, Dr. Uhls, a mom herself, gives us a research-based resource, which is also filled with real-life takeaways and actionable steps. I greatly enjoyed this smart and sensible book. A must-read for every parent before they hand their kids a digital device.” – Willow Bay, Director of the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and Senior Strategic Adviser for the Huffington Post

“Today, parents living in the digital age often feel as though they have stepped ‘through the looking glass’! The digital landscape is an ever-changing and confounding world in which to raise and educate children. Educators and parents alike are struggling with what to do with the numerous opportunities and challenges this digital age offers children in their homes and in their schools. Yalda T. Uhls new book, based on her extensive research and experience, makes her the perfect travel guide as parents all over the world try to traverse this often bumpy terrain. This is the guidebook you’ve been waiting for. Safe travels!” – Reveta Bowers, Head of School, The Center for Early Education

“Media Moms & Digital Dads is a well-balanced, scientifically grounded, and thoughtful road map of the often bewildering and ever-changing digital world in which our kids are immersed. Parents will find the author’s wise advice very helpful. “– Laurence Steinberg, Professor of Psychology, Temple University, and author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence

“This is a fascinating and deeply practical look at how growing up in this new and amazing digital age is impacting our kids. As the parent of teenagers, I found her analysis of how classrooms and teaching have evolved particularly insightful. Each chapter ends with a summary and some reasonable, actionable advice. Yalda’s even-handed and open attitude toward all this technology in our lives, recognizing it as a positive tool even while helping us navigate the challenges, will be greatly appreciated by those who work and educate using the tools digital media afford us.” – Kristine Belson, President of Sony Pictures Animation and Oscar-nominated Producer on The Croods

“Many parents these days are frightened by the media’s frequent depictions of ‘digital dangers’: aggression, sex, and cyber-bullying, to name a few. Media Moms & Digital Dads corrects many of these myths regarding Internet usage and explains the truth about digital technologies to parents in a clear and comprehensible way, based on facts from research. She provides reassuring proof that will help many parents overcome their fears about raising well-adjusted kids in the digital age… a “must read” for parents who care about facts and who raise their children in the digital age.” – Professor David Smahel, Institute of Children, Youth and Family Research Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University and co-author, Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development

“Dr. Yalda T Uhls is leading the way to help bridge the gap between the digital natives (better known as kids) and the non digital natives (better known as parents).” – Michelle Kydd-Lee, Chief Innovation Officer for Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world's leading entertainment and sports agency

“Uhls facilitates a collective parental sigh of relief that the use of digital media, if harnessed properly, can be an enriching experience.” – Foreword Reviews

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