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(Dis)connected parents?
The importance of involving families in media
education
Arnaud ZARBO
Psychologist
Therapist and coach
Summary
I. Working context
II. Changing challenges
III. Dr. Professional and Mr. Parent
1. Confusion to all stages
2. Similar worries
IV. Professionals in question
1. A linear vision of media practices
V. Training spaces
1. Developing a contextual and shared vision
2. Strengthening of family skills
3. Strategies to engage and support families
VI. Family care
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Working context: Nadja Center
• The Nadja Center is a Belgian association specialized in addiction. This
independent association is approved and supported by the Belgian
authorities.
Created in 1978, the association has specialized in information, prevention
and treatment of addiction. Our approach to drug problems is based on
communication theories that guide various aspects of our work
• 3 interconnected services:
– Prevention
– Documentation
– Therapy (single, couples and families)
• A transversal activity: training course
www.nadja-asbl.be
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Addiction experts in media education?
• Specificity of the education system and support in French-speaking Belgium
• A collaboration with many actors and sectors (including media education )
• A pioneering service on the "new" media issues:
– In therapeutic practice
– In training professionals
– Working with professional teams (methodological assistance, project
supports)
• Involvement in qualitative and quantitative research:
– Les Usages problématiques d’Internet et des jeux vidéo : synthèse, regard critique et
recommandations, 2010.
– Projet Compulsive Computer use and Knowledge needs in Belgium: A multimethod
approach (CLICK), 2014;
– Les usages jeunes des espaces numériques dédiés aux jeux d’argent et de hasard : vers
une meilleure connaissance des usages problématiques et des nouveaux enjeux, 2015.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Changing challenges
The debates on childhood leisure have evolved with time, fashions and
cultures.
• At the sociocultural level
• At the political level:
– Social and racial classes (leisure of the elite and popular entertainment
– Maintenance of a certain vision of social relations ( games and toys related to
gender )
• Economic issues
• Health and protection issues :
– Minor protection
– Gender and social protection
– Education
– Personal development
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
« Dr. Professional and Mr. Parent »
Parents and professionals we meet at the Nadja Center often arrive in a
context of great tension and anxiety, even conflict.
• The parents come with fuzzy and broad requests. These requests are not
named and remain in the implicit or unconscious. It mainly concerns the
media practices of a child ( or young ), without their clearly identified the
issues that concern them. They are concerned by the media use of a child
(or teenager ) without clearly identified issues.
• We also note the same concerns and the same beliefs among
professionals (school, youth welfare , etc.) and the same difficulties to
accurately name what worries them.
• In both cases, the media practice is mostly seen as a risk rather than a
developmental lever or a fun time.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Confusion at all stages
• This creates conflict (in any case of misunderstanding ) at all
levels :
– Between parents
– Between parents and professionals
– Between professionals
…and between adults and children.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Similar worries
Adults concerns can be divided into three clusters:
 The practice of the media itself : (video games, Internet, social
networks, tablets, television, etc.).
Playtime; violent content; immersion in the virtual; virtual meetings;
intelligence and cultural level of the content).
 The status of the child:
Sleep disorders; academic performance; isolation; neglect of hygiene;
aggressiveness and irritability; self-image; addiction.
 Adult-children relationships:
Communication problems, dwindling of sharing moments, etc.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Professionals in question
The requests can be classified in two categories:
1. Those relating to a particular child
In this case, we can observe behavioral difficulties and deviations from the
norm (of the institution, from other children and other families).
2. Those relating to the team or to the institution
In this case the difficulties relate to the feeling of incompetence and to the
misunderstanding of the public media practice. More broadly, it also concerns the
gap between the policy of the institution and the current media uses.
When facing those difficulties, professionals
tend to ask for a way to « identify » critical
points, in order to act and propose an
orientation.
Diagnostic reflex
centered on the
personal characteristics
and negative risks.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Creation of training spaces based on several observations:
• Although media education specialist services share a vision centered on
the levers (therapeutic, learning, relational, affective, etc.), many
professionals prefer initiatives focused on risk behavior.
• This vision reinforces the belief in the normality of problematic situations
and risk profiles.
• In terms of education, focusing on the psychopathological angle (or
problems) to explain the normality is counterproductive. This does not
correspond to the majority of uses and even ends, ironically, in an over-
relativization of the problematic situations when they appear.
Training spaces: from screens to relations
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
A linear vision of children media practices
• This vision is centered on the media and takes little account of the context
in which the media practice takes place.
• Moreover, it is exclusively focused on the difficulties.
• It generates guilt in parents and misunderstanding between adults.
Difficulties
Child
Professionals
Parents
Object/media
(Internet , social networks,
video games, tv, tablets, etc.)
Diagnostic
Judgement
Linear vision
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Helping professionals to reinforce parent’s
competences
Professionals/
Parents
Object/media
(Internet , social networks,
video games, tv, tablets, etc.)
Child
Media practices
Sense/
Meaning
EducationGuidance
Develop a contextual and shared vision.
Media education
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Helping professionals to reinforce parent’s
competences
In case of problematic situations:
• Identify more exactly what raises problem:
– The media itself
– The practice
– The meaning
– The access
• Determine what has already been tried by the families to solve the
problem
• Take into account the level of development (psycho, cognitive and social )
of the child.
• Consider current change opportunities.
And to whom?
- One or several professionals
- One or both parents
- The child
- The family circle
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
What strategies developed to support and
mobilize families ?
• Install a dialogue between professionals and the public
– Recognize the practices
– Search for the meaning of practices
– Mark out the practices
• Make an alliance with the parents
– The technical knowledge matters less than the relational quality :
• Parents don’t come in the search of computer engineers but in order to
meet child, health and education professionals.
– Remove the guilt among families about their media practices
– Promote a dialogue about their media practices.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
What strategies developed to support and
mobilize families?
• Remind the adult of his/her role :
– Slow down (with regard to the emergency feeling)
– Stand back
– Answer (not just react)
– Promote positive practices
• Promote curiosity rather than caution
– Discuss with the child about his media practice
– Guide and share media activities between parents and children.
For the child, the adult presence
matters more than the ability.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
What strategies developed to support and
mobilize families?
• Recognize the cultural differences of the media uses
– Family context
– Practices of the adults
• Support the families according to their specific uses
– Media education should not be reduced to a return to a health
standard applied too rigidly.
– Media education has to aim at increasing the well-being of the public
through their media uses.
• Develop an interdisciplinary and intersectorial approach
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Family care
Assessment of the requests
A large proportion of these requests is not bounded to a problem specifically
related to the media but rather to difficulties concerning the childhood and
the family stakes which result from it.
In the majority of the cases, it is the adults who are in demand of support in
the face of a child who does not demonstrate explicitly that he has problem.
Ambivalence and guilt
For the parents whom we meet, the media practice of their child is
considered as an “necessary evil”:
- Risky practice which may generate problematic behavior and slow down
the development of the child
- Guaranty of a certain "family peace“.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
What are the settings to set up and those to avoid ?
• The crystallization around the media occupies all the relational space and
increases the vigilance of each:
– The parents are on the lookout for the slightest reaction (denial) of their child
– The children watch the attitudes of their parents.
• Decenter the attention from the media to open to the context of their use:
– It strengthens the autonomy of the members of the family system.
– This will empower each member of the family about their uses without generate guilt
• Do not focus on the time spent in front of screens but explore the shared
moments.
– Encourage the positive use of the media in family rituals.
– Encourage the mutual learning between child and adult through the media use.
• Explore and discuss the meaning of use
– The child is especially guided by the pleasure yielded from his uses
– It belongs to the adults to help him to make sense
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Create contexts of meeting with families
The media education
devices must be
developed at the
crossroad of the grown-up
stakes and the infantile
motivations.
It’s better to offer flexible
beacons rather than rigid
rules.
Adult
triptych
Child triad
Discover
Present
Pleasure
Control
Usefulness
Time
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Intervention beyond the initial request?
• Between what the professional perceives and what the families
want, there may be a gap.
• Similarly, it is not because the problem is not explained by the
person (child or adult) that it does not exist.
• When considering an intervention, the professional has to:
– First examine his own beliefs. "For what am I worried? How does this
bother me? ".
– Involve families in the intervention process
– Explorer the family context
– Consider developmental issues
– Propose an ecological approach.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Use the experience of families
• The areas dedicated to parenting are great opportunities to
promote media literacy.
– Promote the development of “parents-groups" run by parents and
coordinated by professionals
– Share media experience
– Support in difficult situations
– Play down the dramatic aspects of the use of media by the child.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
How to engage collectively - children, parents and
professionals - in educational attitudes about media ?
• Multiply and strengthen the training spaces for professionals
• Embed the media dimension in the parenting support
• Develop projects including public (parents and children) in
their construction.
Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
Thank you for your attention!
Arnaud ZARBO
Psychologist
Therapist and coach
www.nadja-asbl.be
Nadja.prevention@gmail.com
Arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com

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Disconnected parents a. zarbo international conference media cultures_paris 2016 _eng version

  • 1. (Dis)connected parents? The importance of involving families in media education Arnaud ZARBO Psychologist Therapist and coach
  • 2. Summary I. Working context II. Changing challenges III. Dr. Professional and Mr. Parent 1. Confusion to all stages 2. Similar worries IV. Professionals in question 1. A linear vision of media practices V. Training spaces 1. Developing a contextual and shared vision 2. Strengthening of family skills 3. Strategies to engage and support families VI. Family care Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 3. Working context: Nadja Center • The Nadja Center is a Belgian association specialized in addiction. This independent association is approved and supported by the Belgian authorities. Created in 1978, the association has specialized in information, prevention and treatment of addiction. Our approach to drug problems is based on communication theories that guide various aspects of our work • 3 interconnected services: – Prevention – Documentation – Therapy (single, couples and families) • A transversal activity: training course www.nadja-asbl.be Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 4. Addiction experts in media education? • Specificity of the education system and support in French-speaking Belgium • A collaboration with many actors and sectors (including media education ) • A pioneering service on the "new" media issues: – In therapeutic practice – In training professionals – Working with professional teams (methodological assistance, project supports) • Involvement in qualitative and quantitative research: – Les Usages problématiques d’Internet et des jeux vidéo : synthèse, regard critique et recommandations, 2010. – Projet Compulsive Computer use and Knowledge needs in Belgium: A multimethod approach (CLICK), 2014; – Les usages jeunes des espaces numériques dédiés aux jeux d’argent et de hasard : vers une meilleure connaissance des usages problématiques et des nouveaux enjeux, 2015. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 5. Changing challenges The debates on childhood leisure have evolved with time, fashions and cultures. • At the sociocultural level • At the political level: – Social and racial classes (leisure of the elite and popular entertainment – Maintenance of a certain vision of social relations ( games and toys related to gender ) • Economic issues • Health and protection issues : – Minor protection – Gender and social protection – Education – Personal development Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 6. « Dr. Professional and Mr. Parent » Parents and professionals we meet at the Nadja Center often arrive in a context of great tension and anxiety, even conflict. • The parents come with fuzzy and broad requests. These requests are not named and remain in the implicit or unconscious. It mainly concerns the media practices of a child ( or young ), without their clearly identified the issues that concern them. They are concerned by the media use of a child (or teenager ) without clearly identified issues. • We also note the same concerns and the same beliefs among professionals (school, youth welfare , etc.) and the same difficulties to accurately name what worries them. • In both cases, the media practice is mostly seen as a risk rather than a developmental lever or a fun time. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 7. Confusion at all stages • This creates conflict (in any case of misunderstanding ) at all levels : – Between parents – Between parents and professionals – Between professionals …and between adults and children. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 8. Similar worries Adults concerns can be divided into three clusters:  The practice of the media itself : (video games, Internet, social networks, tablets, television, etc.). Playtime; violent content; immersion in the virtual; virtual meetings; intelligence and cultural level of the content).  The status of the child: Sleep disorders; academic performance; isolation; neglect of hygiene; aggressiveness and irritability; self-image; addiction.  Adult-children relationships: Communication problems, dwindling of sharing moments, etc. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 9. Professionals in question The requests can be classified in two categories: 1. Those relating to a particular child In this case, we can observe behavioral difficulties and deviations from the norm (of the institution, from other children and other families). 2. Those relating to the team or to the institution In this case the difficulties relate to the feeling of incompetence and to the misunderstanding of the public media practice. More broadly, it also concerns the gap between the policy of the institution and the current media uses. When facing those difficulties, professionals tend to ask for a way to « identify » critical points, in order to act and propose an orientation. Diagnostic reflex centered on the personal characteristics and negative risks. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 10. Creation of training spaces based on several observations: • Although media education specialist services share a vision centered on the levers (therapeutic, learning, relational, affective, etc.), many professionals prefer initiatives focused on risk behavior. • This vision reinforces the belief in the normality of problematic situations and risk profiles. • In terms of education, focusing on the psychopathological angle (or problems) to explain the normality is counterproductive. This does not correspond to the majority of uses and even ends, ironically, in an over- relativization of the problematic situations when they appear. Training spaces: from screens to relations Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 11. A linear vision of children media practices • This vision is centered on the media and takes little account of the context in which the media practice takes place. • Moreover, it is exclusively focused on the difficulties. • It generates guilt in parents and misunderstanding between adults. Difficulties Child Professionals Parents Object/media (Internet , social networks, video games, tv, tablets, etc.) Diagnostic Judgement Linear vision Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 12. Helping professionals to reinforce parent’s competences Professionals/ Parents Object/media (Internet , social networks, video games, tv, tablets, etc.) Child Media practices Sense/ Meaning EducationGuidance Develop a contextual and shared vision. Media education Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 13. Helping professionals to reinforce parent’s competences In case of problematic situations: • Identify more exactly what raises problem: – The media itself – The practice – The meaning – The access • Determine what has already been tried by the families to solve the problem • Take into account the level of development (psycho, cognitive and social ) of the child. • Consider current change opportunities. And to whom? - One or several professionals - One or both parents - The child - The family circle Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 14. What strategies developed to support and mobilize families ? • Install a dialogue between professionals and the public – Recognize the practices – Search for the meaning of practices – Mark out the practices • Make an alliance with the parents – The technical knowledge matters less than the relational quality : • Parents don’t come in the search of computer engineers but in order to meet child, health and education professionals. – Remove the guilt among families about their media practices – Promote a dialogue about their media practices. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 15. What strategies developed to support and mobilize families? • Remind the adult of his/her role : – Slow down (with regard to the emergency feeling) – Stand back – Answer (not just react) – Promote positive practices • Promote curiosity rather than caution – Discuss with the child about his media practice – Guide and share media activities between parents and children. For the child, the adult presence matters more than the ability. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 16. What strategies developed to support and mobilize families? • Recognize the cultural differences of the media uses – Family context – Practices of the adults • Support the families according to their specific uses – Media education should not be reduced to a return to a health standard applied too rigidly. – Media education has to aim at increasing the well-being of the public through their media uses. • Develop an interdisciplinary and intersectorial approach Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 17. Family care Assessment of the requests A large proportion of these requests is not bounded to a problem specifically related to the media but rather to difficulties concerning the childhood and the family stakes which result from it. In the majority of the cases, it is the adults who are in demand of support in the face of a child who does not demonstrate explicitly that he has problem. Ambivalence and guilt For the parents whom we meet, the media practice of their child is considered as an “necessary evil”: - Risky practice which may generate problematic behavior and slow down the development of the child - Guaranty of a certain "family peace“. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 18. What are the settings to set up and those to avoid ? • The crystallization around the media occupies all the relational space and increases the vigilance of each: – The parents are on the lookout for the slightest reaction (denial) of their child – The children watch the attitudes of their parents. • Decenter the attention from the media to open to the context of their use: – It strengthens the autonomy of the members of the family system. – This will empower each member of the family about their uses without generate guilt • Do not focus on the time spent in front of screens but explore the shared moments. – Encourage the positive use of the media in family rituals. – Encourage the mutual learning between child and adult through the media use. • Explore and discuss the meaning of use – The child is especially guided by the pleasure yielded from his uses – It belongs to the adults to help him to make sense Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 19. Create contexts of meeting with families The media education devices must be developed at the crossroad of the grown-up stakes and the infantile motivations. It’s better to offer flexible beacons rather than rigid rules. Adult triptych Child triad Discover Present Pleasure Control Usefulness Time Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 20. Intervention beyond the initial request? • Between what the professional perceives and what the families want, there may be a gap. • Similarly, it is not because the problem is not explained by the person (child or adult) that it does not exist. • When considering an intervention, the professional has to: – First examine his own beliefs. "For what am I worried? How does this bother me? ". – Involve families in the intervention process – Explorer the family context – Consider developmental issues – Propose an ecological approach. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 21. Use the experience of families • The areas dedicated to parenting are great opportunities to promote media literacy. – Promote the development of “parents-groups" run by parents and coordinated by professionals – Share media experience – Support in difficult situations – Play down the dramatic aspects of the use of media by the child. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 22. How to engage collectively - children, parents and professionals - in educational attitudes about media ? • Multiply and strengthen the training spaces for professionals • Embed the media dimension in the parenting support • Develop projects including public (parents and children) in their construction. Arnaud ZARBO © ̶ arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com
  • 23. Thank you for your attention! Arnaud ZARBO Psychologist Therapist and coach www.nadja-asbl.be Nadja.prevention@gmail.com Arnaud.zarbo@gmail.com