Helping kids be smart about smartphones & social media

with Frances Maratos, Peter Macaulay, Jamie Lynn Tatera, Karen Bluth and Kathryn Lovewell

Nearly every parent and teacher will tell you that one of their biggest anxieties is about how to manage their children and pupils' access to phones and social media. On the one hand these can be great tools for staying connected and learning about the world. But on the other social media platforms often expose young people to bullying and illicit or disturbing content. So, what to do? How do we balance the pressures on kids to have and use smartphones with the natural desire of caregivers to protect them from what they can unleash? How should we manage the right of a young person to privacy with the anxiety of wanting to know what they are reading and posting? In this discussion with experts on child mental wellbeing we will offer some tools and tips to grapple with these big questions and try to explore a way forwards for a healthier relationship between kids, social media, and their parents and teachers.

Frances Maratos

Peter Macaulay

Jamie Lynn Tatera

Karen Bluth

Kathryn Lovewell


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Chair: Kathryn Lovewell is the Founder of Kind Mind Academy, award-winning international speaker and best-selling author specialising in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) for children, women, and families. A certified MSC teacher, professional speaker and author of “The Little Book of Self-Compassion,” “The Voices in My Head!” and “Every Teacher Matters, Inspiring Well-being through Mindfulness.” Kathryn is also a certified Awakening Joy Facilitator and the host of the “Compassion Champions” Gathering for The Global Compassion Coalition. Since 2020 she has been a founding lead meditation teacher, volunteering for The Global Circles of Practice, offering a weekly guided virtual self-compassion practice for The Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Frances Maratos is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Psychology and Affective Science at the University of Derby. Her research within the field of Affective (or Emotion) Science has centred on understanding psychological, neurological, cognitive and physiological correlates of emotional wellbeing. In particular, her research has contributed to: understanding anxiety, its development in childhood as well as its implications in eating disorders; understanding processes of pain; processes of threat and self-criticism in children and adults; and the use of compassion to promote better emotion regulation, wellbeing and prosocial behaviours across various populations.

Peter Macaulay is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Derby. His main research interests and expertise lie within the area of social developmental psychology and his work focuses on the perceptions and experiences of cyberbullying, face-to-face bullying, and bystander intervention. One current area of research explores how teachers and young people perceive and respond to cyberbullying in the school and home environment. A second strand of research also examines how young people perceive personal and situational factors in bullying, and how this may impact their bystander intervention. Peter is also involved in projects exploring children’s online safety, technology use, and anti-bullying interventions.

Dr. Karen Bluth is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, where she conducts research on self-compassion and its influences on the emotional wellbeing of teens. Dr. Bluth is co-creator of the curriculum Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens and the author of the five books on self-compassion for teens including “The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are”. Her forthcoming book, “Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens in Schools: A 16-session Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum” (PESI Publishers) will be released in summer 2024.

Jamie Lynn Tatera is an educator and author with a passion for helping children and their caregivers become more self-compassionate. She has taught mindfulness and self-compassion to children ages 3-18 in diverse schools as well as aspiring teachers in UW-Milwaukee’s School of Education. Jamie Lynn is the developer and teacher trainer of the Self-Compassion for Children and Caregivers program, a researched parent-child adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion training.  

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