How old should my child be to experience the Internal Filter® Workshop?
The Workshop is geared for young people ages 12 and up.
Does my child really need the Workshop? I already have filtering and monitoring software in place.
Digital filtering and parental oversight are crucial, but they are merely the "training wheels" of your child's learning!
The ultimate aim? A child who chooses wisdom with tech, even when parents and digital filters are absent. This Internal Filter is their most powerful protection, and the unique focus of the Workshop.
There is SO much to teach my child about technology, and I'm overwhelmed. Will the Workshop help?
YES! The Workshop will walk your child (and you) through essential training topics, including:
By the end of your child's experience, they will have read and watched powerful materials, journaled online about what they have learned, been prompted to chat with you on critical topics, and walk away with a written plan with family and personal tech rules that they can really embrace.
My child already seems to be obsessed with their phone. Will the Workshop help? Am I too late?
It is never too late to embrace smart tech use! The Workshop is a powerful experience for young people, regardless of their level of screen access. There is always hope for individual progress and improvement.
It should be noted that we do not operate in the realm of addiction recovery. If you suspect that your child does demonstrate some kind of true addiction, we recommend help from a competent licensed professional.
How many Workshop "seats" will my family need?
Purchase one seat per child who is currently ready to experience the Workshop. (Every additional seat is offered at a greatly reduced price). You do not need to purchase seats for parents. Your initial purchase grants 6 months of access to the Workshop for the number of seats that you purchase at that time.
Additional seats for other family members can be purchased at any time at the reduced price. These additional seats will automatically renew your subscription for another 6 months. This reduced price will be available at any time to families who have already purchased a seat, even if your subscription had previously expired.
For example! If you have 3 children, you can purchase the Workshop for the oldest child with the assurance that each of your younger children can later experience the Workshop, at a greatly reduced cost. For pricing specifics, click here.
How exactly does the Workshop work?
The Workshop is a powerful, thorough, go-at-your-own pace, online experience. Your child will experience 8 Modules organized by topic.
As your child progresses through the Workshop, you will be notified via email each time a Module is completed. This email will provide a summary list of any parent-child “chats” that should happen in connection with that Module, as well as a recap of all journaling that they have entered online. This is one of the most powerful aspects of the Workshop, providing a means for parents to be intimately involved in the Workshop experience!
What topics are covered in the Internal Filter® Workshop?
Module 1: Orientation
A “bird’s eye” view on why our choices with tech matter in the grand scheme of life. An introduction to the idea of strengthening the Internal Filter. Bottom line? Wisdom with technology = happier life.
Module 2: Tech is AWESOME!
Tech is good! Includes wise online surfing principles, how to do good with technology, and a tour of fabulous sites for young people on the web.
Module 3: Social Media Savvy
Includes surprising video content on how social media companies try to keep us on their platforms for as long as possible, and the alarming effects of excessive social media use on mental health and body image. Strong emphasis on online kindness!
Module 4: Taming Gaming
Includes warnings on the time-sapping, brain-numbing effects of excessive gaming, and an opportunity for honest self-assessment of the young person's own gaming habits.
Module 5: Pornography
Includes unforgettable expert testimony on the destructive effects of pornography. Powerful parent chat prompts about real love, healthy sexuality, and how pornography is a counterfeit to these beautiful human experiences. Includes messages of hope and encouragement for young people already struggling with the effects of pornography consumption.
Module 6: Cell Phones 101
Includes materials on cell phone etiquette, stark warnings about texting while driving and the trends of sexting and sextortion. Also includes the printable My Tech Plan, a powerful exercise in which your child will create their own plan for managing technology, guided by family rules and their own personal inspiration. (This element alone is priceless.)
Module 7: Be Still
Includes materials on the value of stillness and meditation in life, and an opportunity for the young person to create their own “be still" experience.
Module 8: Story of My Life
The pinnacle experience of the Workshop, during which the young person voice/video-records their most deeply held hopes and dreams for the future regarding their school experience, marriage, family, career, and who they really want to become. A permanent and potent reminder that today’s choices with tech translate into tomorrow’s reality.
Are there religious materials in the Workshop?
Outstanding tech-related religious and spiritual materials are located in the Parent Portal as an optional addition to your child's Workshop experience. Highly recommend checking them out!
What is the learning pattern behind the Internal Filter® Workshop?
Each Module follows this pattern of learning:
First, your child will consume strong and convincing materials, curated from online sources. These materials include videos, articles, news stories, online quizzes, scripture, research studies, and spiritual messages all organized by Module Topic.
Second, your child will be invited to further digest these materials through various means, including the pondering of thought-provoking questions, the observation of how technology impacts real people around them, and trying out or practicing various good practices related to technology use. Their opinions will be strengthened through journal writing, and the all-important “chats” with a parent.
The result of this process is that the young person begins to form a personal belief. These strongly held personal beliefs are the bedrock of a robust internal filter.
How long will it take for my child to complete the Workshop?
With steady engagement, most young people complete their experience in less than 2 months. The Workshop is a go-at-your-own pace online experience navigated by the young person, and supported by a parent or other mentor. Because of this, the pace at which it is completed can vary. Taking more time is great!
We recommend a regular, steady interface with the Workshop as opposed to a gulp-it-down-as-fast-as-possible approach. This will lead to more internalization of all that the Workshop has to offer.
What is MY role as a parent in the Internal Filter Workshop experience?
Feel like you CANNOT take on one more thing? Never fear! This wisdom is your child's responsibility to gain, with you as their support. If you can make yourself available for priceless "chats," as prompted by the Workshop, the rest of the work has been done for you. Your primary responsibility? Listening. Avoid excessive micromanaging, and lecturing. This is their gig.
Once you have purchased your membership to the Workshop, you’ll have immediate parental access to the entire Workshop through the "Parent Preview" section of the Parent Portal. You will also have access to valuable resources via the Parent Portal.
What if my child refuses to participate in the Workshop?
Even the prickliest of teens might be surprised by the thought-provoking materials that have been curated for the Workshop! Designed to appeal to a young audience, the Workshop synergizes engaging video, inspiration, fascinating articles, and eye-opening scientific data on the power and pitfalls of technology use.
Insisting upon some work and study before handing over powerful technologies represents the BEST kind of parental love. This is not a tug-of-war or a fight. This is rock-star, confident parenting… moving beyond fences and fear in favor of helping your magnificent child become someone who can choose goodness.
Still getting a refusal? Dialing back privileges may be in order. It's okay to expect some "driver's ed" before handing them the keys to the "car." =)
What if my child doesn’t seem to internalize as much as I hoped he would, or say what I want them to say during our Workshop “chats?”
More important than what your child says... this is your golden opportunity to prove yourself a safe and enjoyable person to talk with about important (even uncomfortable) topics.
Listen like a champ. Praise their growing wisdom and insights. Ask questions, not as an interrogator, but as one who believes in that child’s tremendous capacity to embrace truth. Resist the urge to dominate the conversation, and avoid criticism like the plague.
This experience is not an exercise in coercion or forced learning. It is an opportunity for a wise parent to encourage the child's digestion of truth. In this way, they come to own these truths. And owned truths are the bedrock of the internal filter.
If at first you get one-word “grunts” during chats with your child, take heart: they are probably absorbing more than you think they are!
Does the Workshop come with a guarantee that my child won’t ever struggle with technology-related problems?
Unfortunately not! Can they choose to make poor choices? Absolutely. But as parents, it is our opportunity to give them their best shot at good choices by providing inspiring, thorough, unapologetic training.
How do I know if my child is ready for a smartphone?
In our experience, caution (not fear!) and organized teaching are crucial. Have you ever met a parent who wished they had granted their child full access to a smartphone earlier?
The Workshop is a powerful tool to measure your child's readiness for a smartphone. Listen closely during your "chats"... what is your child's posture toward the things they are learning? These observations will help guide your decision as to when your child will be ready. In our experience, later is better.
We are huge fans of the “talk/text-only phone first” approach. With text/call only capacities, these phones can give you a peek at just how impactful phone-ownership might be for your child, and gradually ease the young person into browser-enabled smartphone ownership when you see fit. Our favorite first phones: Gabb Wireless, Troomi, and Pinwheel.
In our own family, talk/text-only phone ownership came first during the middle school years, with browser-equipped smartphone ownership coming when our children were well into their high school years. More on our family's step-by-step plan to granting a smartphone here.
If you are thinking about granting full smartphone ownership to your child, here are some things to consider:
The Internal Filter Workshop experience provides exposure to these ideas in appealing and hands-on ways. Experience the Workshop with your child. Get a sense for where they stand on important matters. Then, trust your gut. You’ve got this!