When the pandemic upended life in 2020, screens became our students’ portal (and ours!) to the world. But all the hours of screen time and social media use have repercussions on our mental health, physical fitness, social skills, and relationship building. In this issue of Upbeat News, we shine a spotlight on our new teen book Slaying Digital Dragons: Tips and tools for protecting your body, brain, psyche, and thumbs from the digital dark side with an excerpt on ways that social media can negatively affect the psyche and ways teens can protect themselves. These ideas are helpful for all ages! Read the excerpt.

For additional resources on managing screen time and its negative effects, read on. Also check out our free downloadable poster of the month, “10 Reasons You Need Positive Self-Esteem” from Stick Up for Yourself.
Special Offer
Get free shipping on orders over $50 from freespirit.com. Sale ends September 30, 2021. Use code FSSEP at checkout.

*Excludes already discounted sets, clearance items, and eBooks.
New Release Spotlight: Slaying Digital Dragons
Slaying Digital Dragons empowers young adults to take charge of their digital life and improve their mental health and well-being.

With a frank and humorous approach to a timely topic, award-winning author Alex J. Packer, Ph.D., pulls back the curtain on the hidden aspects of the digital world and shares:
  • Signs that screen time is affecting young adults’ bodies, brains, and relationships
  • Tips for protecting their privacy, safety, and reputation
  • Ways social media and algorithms can distort their reality and sense of self
  • Tools for finding life balance and resetting their screen scene

Quizzes and exercises guide readers through the process of evaluating their relationships with their screens, social media, and tech in general. Learn more and look inside.
Related Resources
Children ages 4 to 7 learn boundaries and safety when using screens, and fun things to do when screens are off. Also available in board book for children ages 1 to 4.
Build healthy habits with 101 fun activities, tips, and questions that help young children learn the basics of self-care.
This guided journal for creative self-expression allows teens to explore emotions, create art, and envision life’s possibilities.
Check out more resources here.
Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
Ollie Outside author Dr. Michael Oberschneider offers three tips toward helping children create consistent and balanced technology time. Read now.
School counselor Stephanie Filio, M.Ed., offers ways to use social media without falling into the rabbit hole of negativity. Read now.
Recent Review: Sometimes When I’m Mad
“A resourceful, expertly written tale that explores and validates children’s emotions.”—Kirkus Reviews

Leave Us a Review

What’s your favorite Free Spirit title?
Tell us! Visit freespirit.com, select the product that has helped you the most in your work with kids, and leave us a review.
Free Download

Positive self-esteem helps with a lot of things, including protecting kids from the negative effects of using social media. From Stick Up for Yourself! by Gershen Kaufman, Ph.D., and Lev Raphael, Ph.D., this month’s free download is a “10 Reasons You Need Positive Self-Esteem” poster.

Find Free Spirit
Upcoming Events and Conferences 

September 15 at 12 p.m. CST: Free webinar presented by Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC: “Neurodivergent and Gifted: Supporting Twice-Exceptional Students

We partnered with Mediaplanet on their national mental health campaign highlighting tools to have productive conversations about mental health and resources for young people with mental illness. Dr. James Crist, author of What’s the Big Deal About Addictions?, contributed this article to the campaign: Navigating Teenage Addiction During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Meet up with us online! Check out the Free Spirit Publishing blog, with more than 1,000 articles featuring tips and tools for educators, counselors, and parents. Or view our webinar archive at freespirit.com/webinar.

Questions? Send me an email; my inbox is always open.

Suzy Winther, Senior Marketing Specialist
“To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.”
—Sister Mary Lauretta from Quotes and Quotables In a Jar®