Educational Psychology Alumni Co-Author Book to Help Parents Manage Their Children’s Digital World

Photo of Jon Lasser
Jon Lasser

Years after meeting in graduate school, Educational Psychology alumni Mike Brooks, Ph.D. ’99, and Jon Lasser, Ph.D. ’99, have co-authored “Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World.” The book works to find a balance between technology and families by providing parents with a common-sense parenting approach for this new generation.

In an Austin360 article, Lasser describes the approach as “nuanced and complicated and changing as we speak.”

Rather than advocating to eliminate technology entirely, their approach focuses on building strong parent-child relationships to replace the power struggle with collaborative problem-solving techniques. In an interview with the Texas Standard, Brooks explains that while technology has had a positive impact, there are inherent cons that go with it.

Photo of Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks

“From an evolutionary perspective, the brain still wants the in-person connections, smiles, and laughs,” says Brooks. “Emojis can’t replace those things that are critical to our well-being. Our social connection is being infringed upon by our online connection.”

It also utilizes a stoplight color scheme to gauge the severity of technological interference within a family’s life. Green meaning that the technology is being well-managed, yellow that there is cause for concern, or red showing that it is out of control and leading to concerning behaviors such as a lack of in-person social interactions, chronic sleep deprivation, and stealing.

Brooks and Lasser’s goal was to create a research-based, yet practical and accessible guide for parents. They draw from their own experiences as psychologists and parents to offer up relatable anecdotes and solutions to the problems brought on by increases in the use and availability of technology.