BEL AIR — Renowned psychologist, physician and best-selling author Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, is coming to Harford County to discuss the addictive characteristics of social media and video games, and raising children in a society inundated with technology.

Parents and caregivers are invited to attend his evidence-based presentation — “Instagram Ate My Daughter, My Son Won’t Stop Playing Fortnite, What can I do?” — from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Bel Air High School.

Registration is required and free childcare will be available for children ages 4 through 12. Dr. Sax’s program is being offered free of charge by the Harford County Department of Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy, in partnership with Harford County Public Schools’ Parent Academy.

“Social media and video games are everywhere, and parents are naturally concerned about the effects on their children’s development,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “My administration is proud to provide this opportunity for families to learn how protect their children’s mental health and wellness in a digital world.”

Topics will include:

• How much is too much time spent playing video games, and what are the warning signs?

• Why are boys more vulnerable than girls to the addictive properties of video games?

• Which video games are OK for kids, and which are not?

• Time spent on Instagram increases the likelihood of depression; why is this effect stronger for girls?

• What is the right age for a child to have a smartphone?

Dr. Sax will also answer questions and give parents strategies to guide their children’s use of technology, and methods to help children become healthy and successful adults.

Dr. Sax has worked with more than 400 schools and communities across the United States and around the world. He has written four books, “Why Gender Matters,” “Boys Adrift,” “Girls on the Edge” and “The Collapse of Parenting,” which is a New York Times best-seller. Dr. Sax has also appeared on the TODAY show, PBS, NPR, CNN, Fox News, the BBC and many other national and international media outlets.

Attendees must register in advance at www.harfordcountymd.gov/ODCP.

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