Becoming An Askable Adult To Your Middle Schooler | Janell Burley Hofmann | 2 Min Read

When I work in middle schools throughout the country on digital health and well-being, one prompt I often give in our workshops is to name and describe their Askable Adult. An Askable Adult is a trusted adult in their lives who helps to take care of them. Hands fly up as they proudly share the names and character strengths of those adults. Usually later in the evening, during a parent presentation, I’ll tell the grownups about their child’s gushing and they never believe how much their middle school child values and respects them. It’s sometimes hard to know where we stand day-to-day, but our young people are proud of us. And they really need us — especially to support the healthy development of their life online. 

During middle school, social relationships start to become primary for our children. They want to be connected on screens and away from screens as much as possible. They want to start building autonomy and agency in their lives and decisions. Though it may seem that they are growing up and away from us, they need us more than ever. They need us as mentors and guides. They need boundaries and expectations. They need…

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Janell Burley Hofmann

Janell Burley Hofmann is an international author, speaker and consultant specializing on the topics of technology, media, health, relationships and well-being. Janell is the creator of the original iPhone contract and a thought leader in the space of digital mindfulness, digital parenting and intentional use of tech. She is the author of the book, iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up published by Rodale, Inc. Janell is the founder of the Slow Tech Movement and iRules Academy. Janell has worked on four continents across diverse demographics, cultures, religions, and socioeconomics. Sensitive to the needs of each community, Janell works with schools, youth, families, educators, and organizations while offering private coaching and consulting sessions. Janell’s professional expertise and personal experience as a mother of five children builds strong connections with a wide and varied population. Janell engages readers, clients and audiences in relevant and meaningful conversations igniting personal empowerment, awareness and purpose in a partnership that will positively impact all. Janell’s academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies, a Master’s Degree in Critical and Creative Thinking and she is currently working towards her licensure in mental health counseling. Her featured talks include two-time TEDx presenter, SxSW, YPO Southeast Asia Summit, Peace Corp Workshop Leader, Homecoming Day Nagoya University, Nagoya Japan, YPO Middle East Tour, Women2Women International Summit and MIT Strata Center. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Good Morning America, USA Today, National Public Radio, BBC News and The Associated Press.