Local author gives practical advice to get kids off screens and find balance

As a mother of three children in Port Elgin (ON), Katherine Martinko knows intimately well the challenges of managing a family and technology.

On Tuesday, July 11th, she officially locally launched her new book, Childhood Unplugged: Practical Advice to Get Kids Off Screens and Find Balance, at Three Sheets Brewery in Port Elgin to a standing room crowd only.

It was apparent at the launch that many in the crowd were young parents, many of whom purchased the book, and who were looking for a guide for limiting screen time for their children.

Martinko, a former contributor to Discovery Network’s Parentables website, she continues to write extensively about free-range parenting, outdoor play, cooking, travel, and more.

You can also find her work at https://katherinemartinko.substack.com.

While she autographed many copies of her book at the launch, Martinko also gave a talk where she said that it was time that “… parents begin to push back when it comes to screen time for their children”.

As a mother of three young boys, she and husband Jason, try to maintain a majority ‘screen-free home’.  Martinko has written about subjects that include ‘When Should I give my Child a phone?‘ to ‘Smartphones don’t belong in Schools‘ (something that she is living through with her oldest son).

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Martinko says that,

“School is a child’s job. It’s a big deal. It prepares them for the world, academically and socially. It requires focus, persistence, and repetition. It can be boring at times, but often that’s when the young developing brain is soaking in information and forging connections even while daydreaming. To add smartphones to that environment is to change it completely—and not for the better. In fact, the presence of smartphones in such a setting clearly impedes kids’ ability to get an education. That, to me, is horrifying and irresponsible on the part of adults.”

It was obvious at the launch that Martinko touched a nerve with not only the young parents that were there but also with some grandparents who attended, which seems to indicate that everyone or anyone involved in the lives of young people are concerned about their ‘on-screen habits’.

Martinko’s book is available at Amazon.ca and New Society Publishers