Joanie Gillispie, Ph.D. on Cyber.Rules

Mental Help Net ( presents the Wise Counsel Podcast (, hosted by David Van Nuys, Ph.D. "Joanie Gillispie, Ph.D. on Cyber Rules", posted September 1, 2007. Dr. Van Nuys interviews psychologist Joanie Gillispie who, together with colleague Jayne Gackenbach, has written a book titled "Cyber.Rules" which is aimed at helping educate parents about how modern pervasive modern digital media are affecting children and adolescents. This is a complex topic that might pull for a simplistic analysis and prescriptive approach. However, this book apparently offers a more thoughtful and educative approach that Dr. Van Nuys finds refreshing and valuable. Dr. Gillispie's contention is that parents, teachers and clinicians need to become more aware of the ways that the connected world is affecting children so that they can help educate and guide children to avoid the worse outcomes while still benefiting from what is useful and good. Her simple metaphore for how parents, who may be playing catch-up and feeling insecure about how to present themselves as knowledgable, is to deal with the internet in the same way that one would deal with teaching children how to cross a street. This is to say, children need to be protected in developmentally appropriate ways from the worse of the net when they are too young to appreciate its dangers, and they need to be offered the graduated freedom (again in developmentally appropriate ways) to explore the net as it becomes appropriate for them to do so.

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