317. Growing Up in Public with Devorah Heitner

In this age of technology, our children are more exposed than ever before. As parents, it falls upon us to educate and mentor them in responsibly navigating boundaries, identity, privacy, and reputation. 

For this episode, we bring you Devorah Heitner, who, in her most recent book titled Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in the Digital World, touches on many important strategies for guiding our children to live in a digital world where privacy is nonexistent and judgment is unavoidable. 

Devorah’s book could not have come at a better time and is a tremendously valuable resource for parents, kids, and community members to draw from because she offers so much advice on having meaningful conversations with your kids that foster trust and create connectedness. 

Listen and Learn: 

  • What motivated Devorah to explore the idea that our children’s childhoods are much more public than ours?
  • What impact do constant surveillance and digital exposure have on child development?
  • Tips for guiding children to make thoughtful decisions in the digital age
  • Why a fear-based approach to protecting your child’s safety can breed increased secrecy and distrust
  • How to move from monitoring to mentoring when teaching your kids how to wisely engage with technology 
  • Educating your children when it comes to exposure to sex and pornography online
  • Why it’s important to talk with your kids about the risk of sexting and practicing safe-sexting 
  • Devorah shares her recommendations for kids’ educational resources
  • What is intrinsic motivation, and how does it relate to our modern world’s omnipresent grade apps?


About Devorah Heitner

Dr. Devorah Heitner is an author who specializes in helping kids navigate tech using practical, research-informed approaches. She has a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul and Northwestern. Her work on mentoring kids in a connected world has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN Opinion. She is a mother of a teenager of her own and the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World which we are here to discuss today. 

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Episode 317