Public Event to Focus on Screen Time, Impacts of Technology on Children

A full-day event on Sept. 25 in Kalispell will feature a range of presentations focused on the impacts of technology on children and parenting, with experts discussing ways to avoid dangers and health detriments.

The free event, “Screen Time, Social Media and Parenting in the Digital Age,” is open to parents, caregivers, organizations, families and community members with questions or concerns about the issue as it pertains to all ages, from birth to teenagers and beyond. It will be held at Flathead Valley Community College’s Arts and Technology Building in room 139.

The event’s co-sponsors are the Alliance for a Drug-Free Flathead, Flathead Best Beginnings Community Council, #ResilientFlathead, Glacier Country Pachyderm, National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Flathead and United Way.

Stephanie Paidas, a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) with a Ph.D., will deliver the morning keynote address from 9 to 11:30 a.m. called “Digital Technology and the Developing Person,” focused on ages 0 to 5. Paidas will discuss how screen time affects the developing brain and “what you can do to help healthy growth and development,” according to the event’s description.

The afternoon keynote address from 1 to 3 p.m., “Cybercrimes Affecting Our Children,” will involve the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and focus on “tweens” up to age 12 and teens 13 or older. The presentation will explore what kids “may be exposed to and how you can help ensure your child’s safety.”

Courtney Rudbach, LCPC, and community organizations will lead an afternoon workshop from 3 to 4 p.m. called “Signs of Cyber Addiction.” The event will then wrap up with an evening session from 6 to 8 p.m. called “Snaps, Apps and Other Cell Phone Danger Zones for Parents.” The session will summarize the morning and afternoon presentations and provide information for parents.

Childcare is available for the event. Call Mary Buenz at (406) 253-2215 to arrange childcare ahead of time for planning purposes.

For more information, email