Collin Kartchner: 11 Ways to #SavetheKids and Honor His Memory
Collin Kartchner was on fire to #SavetheKids. Save the kids from what?
- The mental health harms of social media, pornography and bullying.
- The loneliness created when technology erodes family relationships.
- A life-sucking smartphone addiction.
Collin Kartchner unexpectedly passed away on October 20, 2020. Most importantly, he left behind his wife Lizzy and his four young children. Lizzy recently posted:
If he made an impression on your life, inspired you to change your direction to a clearer course even if it was hard, if he made you laugh, touched your heart... help him live on in you.
Although we can never replace Collin Kartchner, we can keep his #SavetheKids work alive by doing some of the following 11 actions gleaned from his advice.
11 Ways to #SavetheKids and Honor the Memory of Collin Kartchner
#1 Listen to Collin’s podcasts.
Here are a few links to his podcast on popular platforms:
Here’s a link to listen to Collin and I as we talk about why kids “hire” porn. (Yes, kids “hire” porn to do several “jobs” for them. Find out what they are and get a deeper understanding of porn’s pull on kids.)
NOTE: If you’ve never listened to podcasts from your phone, just go to the Apple App Store or Google Play store and install one of the above podcast players. Then search for Collin Kartchner.
#2 Read Collin’s advice for parents.
Find out why Collin was so worried about these apps and the ways they damage our kids mental health. Start with this recent article Collin wrote for Protect Young Minds: TikTok: The Sound of an App Stealing Your Kid’s Life Away.
#3 Delete TikTok and/or Snapchat.
Collin gave kids permission to delete social media and helped them see how much better they could feel without it. At the very least, do a “social media fast” for a week or two and let your kids feel their burdens lift.
#4 Stop giving kids smartphones.
At least make certain they are ready to handle the massive burdens they impose on kids. Collin said this in an op-ed for the Deseret News:
Handing a tween or teen a smartphone with access to Instagram and Snapchat with zero training, guidance, or monitoring, is like handing them keys to the family car at 12 with zero driver's ed. How then are we shocked when they keep crashing and burning?
Read this blog post about a 4-level plan to mentor your kids on technology: When Should Kids Have Cell Phones: Savvy Parents Reveal Best Strategies.
#5 Do something awesome as a family and don't post about it!
Discover the JOMO--the Joy Of Missing Out! Listen for more great ideas on Collin’s final October 20, 2020 podcast episode.
Don’t miss Collin’s TedX Salt Lake City talk!
#6 One evening each week: no phones or tech distractions from 5-9pm!
This should include the whole family. Kids need family dinner time. Talk like it's 1994!
#7 Evaluate your own digital behaviors and make necessary changes, #SavetheParents.
Teach by example. This means grandparents too! Here are some great tips: Screen Time and Mental Health: Simple Life Hacks for Raising Resilient Kids.
Make sure your kids don’t hate your smartphone like this little 7 year old did.
#8 Give others 8 second hugs!
Collin interviewed Dr. Christy Kane and she promised that 8 second hugs, 8 times a day increase oxytocin levels and happiness levels. Who doesn’t want that for our kids (or ourselves)?! Hear more from Dr. Kane in this PYM interview about Screen Time and the Brain.
#9 Have a central charging station for all devices.
Make a rule that all devices are off and turned in by 9pm. We recommend charging them in the parents’ bedroom to discourage middle of the night internet forays. You might also want to add services that turn off the WiFi for kid’s devices during sleeping hours.
#10 Put all phones down when you are dropping off or picking up kids from school.
These are precious times for interaction. Don’t make your kids compete with your phone for your attention. Remember these quotes from Collin:
Showing your kids you love them is 2% effort and 98% putting your phone down.
Put your phones down and hug your kids.
#11 Seek therapy for your struggling kids.
Therapists are amazing, use them. Collin has interviewed therapists on his podcasts. If you’re wondering if your kid needs therapy for a porn problem, check out this article. Another great resource where you can listen to therapists present is the Utah Coalition Against Pornography’s annual conference.
Continue the Crusade
Collin Kartchner was larger than life. He was known as
- A “warrior for our kids”
- An Internet Crusader
- A Youth Advocate
- A TedX Speaker
- A devoted Dad (probably one of the most important titles to him!)
My hope is that we can continue Collin’s crusade to #SavetheKids by taking his advice to change our relationship with technology so we can improve our relationships with each other.
And if you’d like to donate to Collin’s family, check out their GoFundMe page.
Brain Defense: Digital Safety Curriculum - Family Edition
Parents are desperate for concepts and language like this to help their children. They would benefit so much from this program - and I think it would spur much needed conversations between parents and children.” --Jenet Erikson, parent